Ukrainian troops may have to withdraw from Severodonetska strategic city in the east of the country bombarded by Russian troops “24 hours a day”, declared the regional governor on Wednesday, after several days of fierce fighting.
Severodonetsk has become the center of the Russian offensive in its attempt to seize an eastern strip of Ukraine after being repelled in other parts of the country.
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Russia claimed on Tuesday that he had full control of the residential areas of Severodonetsk while Ukraine continued to maintain the industrial zone and the periphery.
On Wednesday, Sergei Gaidai, governor of the Luhansk region, to which SeverodonetskHe said that the Ukrainian forces may have to withdraw from the town.
“It may be necessary to withdraw to more fortified positions,” he said in an interview on the 1+1 network.
Gaidai assured, however, that a withdrawal would not be equivalent to definitively abandoning this crucial city for the control of the whole of the mining basin of the donbas.
On Tuesday night, in his daily address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a defiant tone that the “heroic defense of the donbas keep going”.
Severodonetsk and the twin city of Lysychansk are the last major kyiv-controlled urban core in Luhansk. They are currently the main battleground because their seizure would clear Russia’s path to Kramatorsk, the de facto administrative capital of the donbas.
– Broken contacts –
Likewise, Zelensky stated that “more than 31,000 Russian soldiers have died in Ukraine” since the beginning of the invasion launched on February 24 by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Russia he pays for this completely senseless war almost 300 lives of his soldiers every day. But there will be a day when, even for Russia, the number of losses will be unacceptable, ”he said in a balance sheet not independently verifiable.
With Russia Already occupying a fifth of its territory, especially in the east and on the south coast, the Ukrainian president ruled out a peace negotiation until they obtain a victory “on the battlefield”.
Despite some diplomatic maneuvering at the start of the war, contacts now appear broken between the two sides, who accuse each other of destroying their grain resources and heightening fears of a global food crisis.
“Those who claim to be concerned about the world food crisis attack fields and agricultural infrastructure,” the Ukrainian command for the southern front denounced on Tuesday, reporting shelling near Mikolaiv.
At the same time, the Moscow Defense Ministry assured that the forces ukrainian They “purposely set fire to an important grain warehouse” in the port of Mariupol (southeast), recently seized by Russia after a long siege.
“More than 50,000 tons of grain have been destroyed,” said General Mikhail Mizintsev.
– Meeting in Ankara –
Russia and Ukraine account for 30% of world wheat exports. In addition, kyiv accuses Moscow of blockading its ports on the Black Sea.
Given the concern about a famine in countries in Africa and the Middle East, the head of Russian diplomacy, Sergey Lavrov, arrived in Ankara the day before and will meet on Wednesday with his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Cavusoglu.
In the meeting they must address the creation of safe maritime corridors for the export of cereals after Turkey offered to escort maritime convoys from Ukrainian ports despite the presence of mines.
Ukraine received further support from the World Bank, which approved an additional $1.5 billion in aid for the country, bringing the total contribution to more than $4 billion since the start of the war.
In addition to causing thousands of deaths and millions of displaced people, the invasion of Russia it has devastated the country’s economy, wrecked infrastructure and depleted the government’s ability to pay its bills.
I, Ronald Payne, am a journalist and author who dedicated his life to telling the stories that need to be said. I have over 7 years of experience as a reporter and editor, covering everything from politics to business to crime.