Russia-Ukraine live updates | Russians control 80% of contested city in eastern Ukraine

A local resident stands on a balcony of an apartment building destroyed in a missile strike, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Bakhmut, Ukraine on June 13, 2022.

A local resident stands on a balcony of an apartment building destroyed in a missile strike, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Bakhmut, Ukraine on June 13, 2022. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Ukraine said on June 13 that its forces had been pushed back from the centre of key industrial city Severodonetsk, where President Volodymyr Zelensky described a fight for “literally every metre”. The cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, which are separated by a river, have been targeted for weeks as the last areas still under Ukrainian control in the eastern Lugansk region.

Russian forces cut off the last routes for evacuating citizens from the eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk, a Ukrainian official said, as the Kremlin pushed for victory in the Donbas region. The last bridge to the city was destroyed, trapping any remaining civilians and making it impossible to deliver humanitarian supplies, said regional governor Sergei Gaidai, adding that some 70% of the city was under Russian control.

On June 12, Russian forces fired cruise missiles to destroy a large depot containing U.S. and European weapons in western Ukraine's Ternopil region, Interfax reported, as street fighting raged in the eastern city of Severodonetsk. The governor of the Ternopil region said a rocket attack on the city of Chortkiv fired from the Black Sea had partly destroyed a military facility, injuring 22 people.

MOSCOW

Severodonetsk plant evacuations planned for Wednesday: Russia

The Russian army said it would establish a humanitarian corridor on Wednesday to evacuate hundreds of civilians from the Azot chemical plant in the city of Severodonetsk.

“Guided by the principles of humanity, the Russian armed forces and the formations of the Lugansk People’s Republic are ready to organise a humanitarian operation to evacuate civilians,” the Russian Defence Ministry said on Tuesday.- AFP

KYIV

Kyiv recovers Azovstal fighters’ bodies in swap with Moscow

Kyiv said on Tuesday it had received the bodies of 64 soldiers who died defending Mariupol’s steelworks in an exchange with Moscow that saw Ukraine returning the remains of Russian troops.

“Ukraine has recovered the bodies of 64 heroic Azovstal defenders for their dignified burial,” the Ukrainian reintegration ministry, which is responsible for the territory under Russia‘s control, said in a statement.

Azovstal, the last point of resistance in the southern port city of Mariupol, was captured by Russia at the end of May after a months-long operation.- AFP

BERLIN

German howitzers soon to be ready for use in Ukraine

The training of Ukrainian troops on German howitzers will soon be completed, paving the way for the use of the weapons in the war in Ukraine, German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said on Tuesday.

Ukraine has pleaded for the West to send more and better artillery as the country runs out of ammunition for its existing Soviet-era arsenal, which is dwarfed by Russia‘s.

Western countries have promised NATO-standard weapons but deploying them is taking time.- Reuters

MOSCOW

London did not ask Moscow to intervene over Britons sentenced to death: Kremlin

The Kremlin said on Tuesday that London had not asked Russia to intervene and help save two Britons sentenced to death by pro-Moscow separatist authorities in eastern Ukraine.

“They have not asked,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. He said that such a request should be lodged with the separatist authorities of the breakaway region of Donetsk that tried Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner for fighting with the Ukrainian army. - AFP

LVIV

Russians control 80% of contested city in eastern Ukraine

Sievierodonetsk, the main focus of the fighting in eastern Ukraine in recent weeks, isn’t yet blocked off by Russian troops even though they control about 80% of the city and have destroyed all three bridges leading out of it, an official said on Tuesday.

“There is still an opportunity for the evacuation of the wounded, communication with the Ukrainian military and local residents,” Luhansk regional Governor Serhiy Haidai told The Associated Press by phone.

He acknowledged that Ukrainian forces have been pushed out to the industrial outskirts of the city because of “the scorched earth method and heavy artillery the Russians are using.” - AP

ISRAEL

Facing gas ‘blackmail’ by Russia, EU turns to Israel

The European Union wants to strengthen its energy cooperation with Israel in light of Russia‘s use of gas supplies to “blackmail” its members over the Ukraine conflict, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said Tuesday.

“The Kremlin has used our dependency on Russian fossil fuels to blackmail us,” she said in a speech at the Ben Gurion University in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba. - AFP

CHERNIHIV

Russia strikes weapons depot in Ukraine with cruise missiles

Russia struck an artillery weapons depot with Kalibr cruise missiles in Ukraine‘s Chernihiv region, the RIA news agency reported on Tuesday, citing the Russian Defence Ministry.

Russian air defence forces shot down a Ukrainian MiG-29 fighter jet and an Mi-24 helicopter, the TASS news agency reported, citing the Ministry. - Reuters

KYIV

Ukraine says Severodonetsk not cut off

Ukrainian authorities said on Tuesday a third bridge to Severodonetsk has been destroyed but that the eastern city is not cut off, despite Russian forces bearing down after weeks of bloody battles.

The head of the city’s administration, Oleksandr Stryuk, said “massive shelling has destroyed a third bridge” over the Siverskyi Donets River, linking the city to Ukrainian-controlled Lysychansk.

“But the city is not isolated,” Stryuk told Ukrainian television.

“There are communication channels even if they are quite complicated.”- AFP

Rome

Pope criticises Russia over ‘cruelty in Ukraine’ but says war perhaps ‘provoked’

Pope Francis has taken a new series of swipes at Russia for its actions in Ukraine, saying its troops were brutal, cruel and ferocious, while praising “brave” Ukrainians for fighting for survival.

But in the text of a conversation he had last month with editors of Jesuit media and published on June 14, he also said the situation was not black and white and that the war was “perhaps in some way provoked”.

While condemning “the ferocity, the cruelty of Russian troops, we must not forget the real problems if we want them to be solved,” Francis said, including the armaments industry among the factors that provide incentives for war. - Reuters

Severodonetsk

Zelensky pleads for arms as Russian forces lay siege to Severodonetsk

Ukraine’s President has made an impassioned plea to Western allies to speed arms deliveries and help stem “terrifying” casualties as Russian forces lay siege to the eastern city of Severodonetsk, destroying the last bridges into the industrial hub.

Mr. Zelensky expressed confidence in Ukraine's ability to reclaim territory, calling on the nation's allies to send more weapons. "We just need enough weapons to ensure all of this. Our partners have them," he said. - AFP

Ukraine

Ukraine has lost ‘25% of its arable land’ to war: agriculture ministry

Ukraine has lost a quarter of its arable land in certain regions since Russia’s invasion, notably in the south and east, the deputy agriculture minister said June 13 but insisted its food security was not threatened.

“Despite the loss of 25% of arable land, the structure of crop planting this year is more than sufficient” to ensure food for the population, Taras Vysotskiy told a news conference, saying it “does not pose a threat to Ukraine’s food security”. - AFP

Severodonetsk

Human cost of Severodonetsk fight ‘terrifying’: Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on June 13 said the battle for Severodonetsk was taking a “terrifying” toll as Russian forces threaten to take the strategic eastern city.

“The human cost of this battle is very high for us. It is simply terrifying,” Mr. Zelensky said on Telegram in his daily address to the Ukrainian people. “The battle for the Donbas will, without doubt, be remembered in military history as one of the most violent battles in Europe,” he added. - AFP

Indian students

Indian students can continue studies in Russia: Embassy official

Universities in Russia are ready to accept Indian students whose education in Ukrainian universities was disrupted by the ongoing military operation in Ukraine, a top Russian Embassy official said on June 12.

Interacting with media persons, Roman Babushkin, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Russian Embassy in New Delhi, said students could approach the Russian Houses in India for assistance in this regard.

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Russia

Russia overtakes Saudi Arabia to become India’s second biggest oil supplier

Russia has overtaken Saudi Arabia to become India’s second-biggest supplier of oil behind Iraq as refiners snap up Russian crude available at a deep discount following the war in Ukraine, industry data showed.

Indian refiners bought about 25 million barrels of Russian oil in May, or more than 16% of all their oil imports. Russian-origin crude hit 5% of India’s total seaborne imports in April for the first time, rising from under 1% throughout 2021 and Q1 2022, the data showed.

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Ukraine

100 Days of Ukraine-Russia war in data

It has been just over 100 days since Russia first launched artillery strikes on Ukraine, under the guise of “demilitarising” and “de-Nazifying” the former Soviet state. In just three months, Russia has managed to leave the country cratered, dilapidated and desolate. Experts and political heads say that what Russian President Vladimir Putin called a “special military operation” is set to become a long-drawn-out war. Russian forces were quick to encircle Kyiv, but failed to capture the capital. By the end of March, Putin was forced to change his strategy and move troops away from Kyiv and Kharkiv, the second largest city, and focus instead on the Donbas region.

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Severodonetsk

Ukraine forces pushed back from Severodonetsk centre

Ukraine said on June 13 that its forces had been pushed back from the centre of key industrial city Severodonetsk, where President Volodymyr Zelensky described a fight for “literally every metre”.

The cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, which are separated by a river, have been targeted for weeks as the last areas still under Ukrainian control in the eastern Lugansk region.

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2022 8:40:22 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/russia-ukraine-live-updates-severodonetsk-donbas-european-union-volodymyr-zelensky-vladimir-putin/article65525054.ece