Russia now occupies 20% of Ukraine as the aggression intensifies

'100 days of war': Russia now occupies 20% of Ukraine as attacks intensify

Vladimir Putin’s troops have set their sights on occupying eastern Ukraine

Kiev:

Ukraine has completed 100 days since the Russian invasion on Friday, with fighting across the east of the country, with Moscow forces tightening their grip on Donbass.

This terrible milestone came in 2014 when Kyiv declared Moscow’s control of one-fifth of Ukrainian territory, including the annexation of Crimea and parts of Donbass.

After being driven out of the capital, President Vladimir Putin’s troops set their sights on occupying eastern Ukraine, warning that war could drag on.

After talks at the White House with U.S. President Joe Biden, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg warned Thursday that Ukraine’s allies need to be prepared for a “terrible war.”

“We just have to be prepared to go a long way,” Stoltenberg said, adding that NATO does not want a direct confrontation with Russia.

Despite slower-than-expected progress, Moscow’s forces are making progress – President Volodymyr Zelensky has told lawmakers in Luxembourg that Russia now holds about 20 percent of Ukraine’s territory.

Thousands have been killed and millions forced to flee since the Russian invasion on February 24. According to Zelensky, on the battlefield, 100 Ukrainian soldiers die every day.

Part of the Donbass is a street fight at the Severodonetsk industrial center in Lugansk.

Russia already controls about 80 percent of the strategic city, but its defenders are putting up stiff resistance.

The Aztec factory in Severodonetsk, one of the largest chemical factories in Europe, was targeted by Russian troops who fired on an administrative building and a warehouse where methanol was stored.

‘Shooting is going on everywhere’

Ukrainian troops are still occupying an industrial area, Gade said, a situation reminiscent of Mariupol, where a huge steelwork was the last holdout of the southeastern port city until Ukrainian troops finally surrendered in late May.

In the town of Sloviansk, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Severodonetsk, residents say Russian troops are constantly bombing.

“It’s very difficult here,” said paramedic Ekaterina Peredenenko, 24, who returned to the city just five days ago but realized she had to leave again.

“Shooting is going on everywhere, it’s scary. There’s no water, no electricity or gas,” he said.

At least one person was killed and several others were injured in Russian shelling in the southern city of Mykolaiv, Ukrainian military officials said Thursday night.

Valery Jaluzhny, commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, called for modern weapons, saying “enemy artillery has a decisive advantage.”

“It will save the lives of our people,” he added.

Financial stress

Led by the United States, Western nations have pumped out weapons and military supplies to help Ukraine survive the onslaught.

Bridget Brink, the new US ambassador to Kiev, promised on Thursday that the United States would “help Ukraine win the war against Russia’s aggression” after presenting its credentials to Zelensky.

Earlier this week, the United States announced that it was sending more advanced ice multiple rocket launch systems to Ukraine.

Mobile units can simultaneously launch multiple precision-guided weapons at targets up to 80 kilometers away.

They are the focus of a $ 700 million package that includes air-surveillance radar, ammunition, helicopters and vehicles.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused Washington of “adding fuel to the fire”, although US officials insisted that Ukraine had promised not to use them for attacks inside Russia.

Aside from sending arms to Ukraine, Western allies have also sought to block Russia’s financial lifeline in order to divert Putin’s attention.

Already making a long list of sanctions, the United States has blacklisted Putin’s money manager and a Monaco company that supplies luxury yachts to Moscow’s elite.

Across the Atlantic, EU countries have agreed to new sanctions that will cut 90 percent of Russia’s oil imports to the bloc by the end of the year.

Disappointed to remove the oil

Russia has warned that European consumers will pay the price for the first partial oil embargo.

Major crude producers have agreed to increase output by another 50 percent per month in an effort to calm an overheated market and reduce inflationary pressures.

But the move has disappointed investors and pushed prices up since the announcement.

Ukraine, as one of the world’s top grain-producing countries, is at risk of a global food crisis as a result of the war.

It has already translated into higher costs for essentials, from cereals to sunflower oil to corn, the poorest of the poor.

The head of the African Union, Senegalese President Macky Sall, is leaving for Russia on Friday for talks with Putin.

The visit is aimed at “freeing up grain and fertilizer stocks, the blockade of which particularly affects African countries”, as well as reducing the conflict in Ukraine, Sal’s office said.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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