Russia-Ukraine crisis live updates | Zelensky visits Ukraine’s east for first time since invasion

This handout picture taken and released by the Ukrainian Presidential press-service on May 29, 2022 shows Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (L) talking with servicemen during his visit to the Kharkiv region.

This handout picture taken and released by the Ukrainian Presidential press-service on May 29, 2022 shows Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (L) talking with servicemen during his visit to the Kharkiv region. | Photo Credit: AFP

Russian forces stepped up their assault on the Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk on May 28 after claiming to have captured the nearby rail hub of Lyman, as Kyiv intensified its calls for longer-range weaponry from the West to help it fight back in the Donbas region.

Slow, solid Russian gains in recent days point to a subtle momentum shift in the war, now in its fourth month. The invading forces appear close to seizing all of the Luhansk region of Donbas, one of the more modest war goals the Kremlin set after abandoning its assault on Kyiv in the face of Ukrainian resistance.

Russia‘s defence ministry said on May 28 that its troops and allied separatist forces were now in full control of Lyman, the site of a railway junction west of the Siverskyi Donets River in the Donetsk region that neighbours Luhansk.

Read more news on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis here.

Kyiv

Zelensky visits Ukraine’s east for first time since invasion

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the country’s war-ridden east for the first time since the Russian invasion, on a trip to Kharkiv region, from where Moscow retreated in recent weeks.

Mr. Zelensky’s office posted a video on Telegram of him wearing a bullet-proof vest and being shown heavily destroyed buildings in Kharkiv and its surroundings.

“2,229 buildings have been destroyed in Kharkiv and the region. We will restore, rebuild and bring back life. In Kharkiv and all other towns and villages where evil came,” the post said. - AFP

POKROVSK

Russian troops storm city amid eastern Ukraine bombardments

Russian and Ukrainian troops engaged in close-quarter combat in an eastern Ukraine city Sunday as Moscow’s soldiers, supported by intense shelling, attempted to gain strategic footholds in the region while facing fierce Ukrainian resistance.

Ukrainian regional officials reported that Russian forces were “storming” the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk, where the fighting has knocked out power and cellphone services and terrorized civilians who haven’t fled.

Sievierodonetsk, a manufacturing center, has emerged as an epicenter of Russia’s quest to conquer Ukraine’s industrial Donbas region. Russia also stepped up its efforts to take nearby Lysychansk, where Ukrainian officials reported constant shelling.

The two cities, with a combined prewar population of around 200,000, are the last major areas under Ukrainian control in Luhansk province, which makes up the Donbas together with neighboring Donetsk. Russia is focused on capturing parts of both not already controlled by pro-Moscow separatists. - AP

Russia

Russia pummels hold-out city in east; Ukraine seeks longer-range weapons

Russian forces intensified their assault on the largest city held by Ukrainian forces in the Donbas region in the east on Sunday as Kyiv said it was hopeful longer-range weapons it desperately needs from Western allies could soon arrive.

Invading forces appear close to seizing all of the Luhansk region, one of the more modest war goals the Kremlin set after abandoning its assault on the capital, Kyiv, in the face of Ukrainian resistance.

Russia‘s defence ministry said its troops and allied separatist forces were in full control of Lyman, the site of a railway junction west of the Siverskyi Donets River in the Donetsk. - Reuters

Russia

Russia’s Gazprom says it continues shipping gas to Europe via Ukraine

Russian gas producer Gazprom said on Saturday its supply of gas to Europe through Ukraine via the Sudzha entry point stood at 43.96 million cubic metres (mcm), slightly up from 43.6 mcm on Friday.

An application to supply gas via another major entry point, Sokhranovka, was rejected by Ukraine, Gazprom said. - Reuters

Ukraine

Fighting for Sievierodonetsk continues: Ukraine’s Armed Forces

Fighting for the eastern Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk continues with Russian forces conducting assault operations on Saturday, the General Staff of Ukraine‘s Armed Forces said on Sunday.

“With the use of artillery, Russian forces carried out assault operations in the area of the city of Sievierodonetsk,” the General Staff said in a statement on its Facebook page.

“The fighting continues.” - Reuters

Russia

Russia claims key Ukrainian city surrounded

Russian forces engaged in an all-out battle in eastern Ukraine have captured the strategic town of Lyman and surrounded a key industrial centre, Moscow has claimed.

But a Ukrainian official has denied that the city of Severodonetsk — the focus of weeks of fierce fighting — has been encircled, saying government troops had repelled Russian forces from its outskirts.

As the battle for Ukraine‘s industrial heartland raged on Saturday, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called for “direct serious negotiations” between Russian leader Vladmir Putin and his counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.

The EU leaders also “insisted on an immediate ceasefire and a withdrawal of Russian troops” in an 80-minute phone call with the Russian leader, the German chancellor’s office said. - AFP

Ukraine

Months after dam destroyed to stop Russian advance, parts of village still flooded

Some 50 homes in the village of Demydiv remain partially submerged months after a dam was destroyed and the area flooded to stop Russian troops from advancing on Ukraine capital Kyiv, regional governor Oleksiy Kuleba said late on Saturday.

The Ukrainian military blew up a dam on the river Irpin in February, sending water surging into the village and thousands of acres around it, flooding houses and fields, but preventing Russian tanks from reaching the capital city.

“At this time, about 50 houses in the village of Demydiv remain flooded,” Mr. Kuleba wrote in a post on the Telegram messaging app.

“People are understanding of the situation. We, in turn, make every effort to resolve the issue.” - Reuters

Russia

Russia takes small cities, aims to widen east Ukraine battle

As Russia asserted progress in its goal of seizing the entirety of contested eastern Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin on May 29 tried to shake European resolve to punish his country with sanctions and to keep supplying weapons that have supported Ukraine’s defence.

The Russian Defense Ministry said Lyman, the second small city to fall this week, had been “completely liberated” by a joint force of Russian soldiers and Kremlin-backed separatists, who have waged war for eight years in the industrial Donbas region bordering Russia.

Ukraine’s train system has ferried arms and evacuated citizens through Lyman, a key railway hub in the east. Control of it also would give Russia‘s military another foothold in the region; it has bridges for troops and equipment to cross the Siverskiy Donets river, which has so far impeded the Russian advance into the Donbas. - AP

Donbas

Explained: The crisis in Ukraine’s Donbas region

As tensions spiral between Russia and the West over Ukraine, the rebel-held self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DNR/DPR and LNR/LPR) in Eastern Ukraine have started evacuating civilians to the Rostov region in Russia claiming an impending Ukrainian military offensive.

They have also declared a full military mobilisation. Shelling is going on even in civilian areas between Ukrainian soldiers and Russia-backed rebels; in response, Russia has extended military exercises on Ukraine’s northern borders.

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Ukraine

Ukrainian negotiator says any agreement with Russia isn’t worth a broken penny

Ukrainian presidential adviser and peace talks negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak said on Saturday that any agreement with Russia cannot be trusted and Moscow can only be stopped in its invasion by force.

“Any agreement with Russia isn’t worth a broken penny,” Mr. Podolyak wrote on the Telegram messaging app. “Is it possible to negotiate with a country that always lies cynically and propagandistically?”

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Donbas

Ukraine says everything being done to defend Donbas from Russian onslaught

Ukraine has said it is doing “everything” to defend Donbas, where an intensifying Russian offensive is prompting Kyiv’s forces to consider a strategic retreat from some key areas to avoid being surrounded.

Russia is waging an all-out war for the eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions that make up Donbas — Ukraine’s industrial heartland where President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Moscow of carrying out a “genocide”.

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Germany

‘Putin’s war’ has put some urgency on India-EU FTA talks: German envoy

India and the European Union (EU) were working on the first texts of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and “Putin’s war” in Ukraine had put “some urgency” to it, German envoy to India Walter J. Lindner has said.

Ukraine, along with climate change, shift to renewable energy and fight against terror, would be on top of the agenda in the coming G7 summit next month for which India had also been invited, he stated.

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Ukraine

Ukraine’s former President blocked from leaving the country

Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was prevented from leaving Ukraine to take part in a meeting of a NATO body in Lithuania, his party’s parliamentary faction said on Saturday.

Mr. Poroshenko was stopped twice at a border crossing with Poland while he was on his way to the meeting of NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly, a consultative interparliamentary organisation, the statement said.

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Printable version | May 30, 2022 8:25:32 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/russia-ukraine-crisis-live-updates-russia-takes-small-cities-aims-to-widen-east-ukraine-battle/article65472593.ece