Ukraine president expects Russia assaults to accentuate with EU summit this week By Reuters

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© Reuters. A girl walks previous destroyed buildings at a neighborhood market following latest shelling in the midst of Ukraine-Russia battle in Donetsk, Ukraine June 19, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

By Natalia Zinets and Max Hunder

KYIV (Reuters) -Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy predicted Russia will escalate its assaults this week as European Union leaders think about whether or not to again his nation’s bid to affix the bloc and Russia presses its marketing campaign to win management of east Ukraine.

“Clearly, this week we must always count on from Russia an intensification of its hostile actions,” Zelenskiy stated in a Sunday nightly video handle. “We’re getting ready. We’re prepared.”

Ukraine utilized to affix the EU 4 days after Russian troops poured throughout its border in February. The EU’s government, the European Fee, on Friday really useful that Ukraine obtain candidate standing.

Leaders of the 27-nation union will think about the query at a summit on Thursday and Friday and are anticipated to endorse Ukraine’s utility regardless of misgivings from some member states. The method may take a few years to finish.

The EU’s embrace of Ukraine would intrude with one in all Russian President Vladimir Putin’s acknowledged objectives when he ordered his troops into Ukraine: to maintain Moscow’s southern neighbour out of the West’s sphere of affect.

Putin on Friday stated Russia had “nothing towards” Ukraine’s EU membership, however a Kremlin spokesperson stated Russia was intently following Kyiv’s bid particularly in gentle of elevated defence cooperation amongst EU members.

On the battlefield, Russian forces try to take full management of the japanese Donbas area, elements of which had been already held by Russian-backed separatists earlier than the Feb. 24 invasion.

A first-rate goal of Russia’s japanese assault is the economic metropolis of Sievierodonetsk. Russia stated on Sunday it had seized Metyolkine, a village on the outskirts, and Russian state information company TASS reported that many Ukrainian fighters had surrendered there. Ukraine’s army stated Russia had “partial success” within the space.

Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai instructed Ukrainian tv {that a} Russian assault on Toshkivka, 35 km (20 miles) south of Sievierodonetsk, additionally “had a level of success”. TASS, citing an aide to the inside minister of the Luhansk Individuals’s Republic, reported Toshkivka had been “liberated”.

In Sievierodonetsk itself, a metropolis of 100,000 earlier than the warfare, mayor Olekander Struk stated Russian forces managed about two-thirds of the town, together with most residential areas, and it saved throwing forces on the Ukrainians in an try to take over utterly.

“I hope that the town will maintain and, as soon as it has the benefit in firepower, we will liberate it with out leaving it first.”

Each Russia and Ukraine have continued heavy bombardment round Sievierodonetsk “with little change to the entrance line”, Britain’s Ministry of Defence stated on Sunday.

In Sievierodonetsk’s twin metropolis of Lysychansk, residential and administrative buildings had been destroyed by Russian shelling, Gaidai stated. “Persons are dying on the streets and in bomb shelters,” he stated.

Reuters couldn’t independently verify the battlefield accounts.


Analysts on the Institute for the Examine of Conflict, a Washington-based assume tank, wrote in a be aware that “Russian forces will doubtless be capable to seize Sievierodonetsk within the coming weeks, however at the price of concentrating most of their out there forces on this small space”.

NATO Secretary-Common Jens Stoltenberg stated the Ukraine warfare may final for years and urged Western governments to proceed sending state-of-the-art weaponry to Ukrainian troops, Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported.

“We should put together for the truth that it may take years. We should not let up in supporting Ukraine,” Stoltenberg was quoted as saying.

Russia has stated it launched what it calls a “particular army operation” to disarm its neighbour and shield Russian audio system there from harmful nationalists.

Ukraine and its allies dismiss that as a baseless pretext for a warfare of aggression.

In Ukraine’s second-largest metropolis, Kharkiv, northwest of Luhansk, Russia’s defence ministry stated its Iskander missiles had destroyed weaponry lately equipped by Western nations.

Russian forces had been attempting to strategy Kharkiv, which skilled intense shelling earlier within the warfare, and switch it right into a “front-line metropolis”, a Ukrainian inside ministry official stated.

The governor of Russia’s Bryansk area stated the border village of Suzemka had been shelled from northern Ukraine, and one individual was wounded and an influence station was broken.

Ukraine’s basic employees stated Russia had deployed an anti-aircraft missile division in Bryansk and had as much as three battalion tactical teams had been overlaying the border within the Bryansk and neighbouring Kursk areas.

In the direction of Kharkiv, the Russians had been attempting to cease Ukrainian forces from advancing to the border, it added.

In southern Ukraine, Western weaponry had helped Ukrainian forces advance 10 km (6 miles) in direction of Russian-occupied Melitopol, its mayor stated in a video posted on Telegram from exterior the town.

Australia’s defence ministry stated it had despatched the primary 4 of 14 promised armoured personnel carriers to Ukraine, a part of a $200 million support pledge.

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