Ukraine is hoping to get more weapons from allies after new US commitments, President Volodymyr Zelensky said, adding that Russia has been fighting for the east for 100 days since the Russian invasion.
According to Zelensky, Moscow’s forces now occupy about 20% of Ukraine’s territory. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces are concentrating on the industrial Donbass region, a combination of Luhansk and Donetsk, in hopes of a high-profile victory. Ukraine is hoping to get more weapons from allies after new US commitments, President Volodymyr Zelensky said, adding that the war for the east of Ukraine has been going on for 100 days since the Russian invasion.
Governor Pavlo Kirilenko said late Thursday night that three civilians had been killed and nine injured in Donetsk, including two in the coal-producing city of Avdivka. Reuters could not immediately confirm the details.
“The completely temporarily occupied territory of our state is now a complete disaster zone, for which Russia bears full responsibility,” Zelensky said in a late-night speech.
“We expect better news on arms supplies from other partners … We are working to take the supply of modern warfare to a higher level,” he said.
Russia has accused Washington of adding “fuel to the fire” with a new $ 700 million weapons package for Ukraine that would include advanced rocket systems with a range of up to 80 kilometers (50 miles).
President Joe Biden’s administration has repeatedly said it has Ukraine’s assurances that it will not use rocket systems to hit targets inside Russia.
Russia has said it is conducting a “special military operation” to disarm and “disable” its neighbors. Ukraine and its allies have called it a baseless pretext for a war that has killed thousands, destroyed flat cities and forced more than 6 million people to flee abroad.
Although Moscow denies targeting civilians, it says it considers the Ukrainian infrastructure used to bring in Western weapons a legitimate target.
However, it insisted that Western supplies would not change the course of its attacks.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that “pumping weapons in (Western) Ukraine does not change all the parameters of a special operation.”
“Its goals will be achieved, but it will bring more misery to Ukraine,” Peskov said when asked if Ukraine’s plans to sell drones that could be equipped with missiles could change the nature of the conflict.
On the ground, the former industrial city of Severodonetsk is now largely in ruins after days of fierce fighting.
Its capture and the small twin Lysichansk will give Russia control of all of Luhansk, which Moscow has claimed on behalf of separatists like Donetsk.
The capture of Luhansk will fulfill one of Putin’s stated objectives and further shift the pace of the battlefield to Russia after the withdrawal of Russian forces from the capital Kyiv and from the north.
Moscow’s forces are also trying to advance on the southern Ukrainian-controlled city of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk’s Donetsk, Governor Kirilenko said.
UN talks on grain
The war and Western sanctions imposed in response are having an impact on the world economy, which is still struggling to cope with the coronavirus epidemic.
With control of some of Ukraine’s largest seaports and important shipping routes across the Black Sea, Russia is cutting off Ukrainian farm exports and deepening the global food crisis.
UN aid chief Martin Griffiths is in Moscow on Thursday and Friday to discuss with Russian officials how to clear grain and other food exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.
“The situation remains fluid,” said Stephen Dujarric, a spokesman for the United Nations.
Russia and Ukraine together account for about one-third of the world’s wheat supply, while Russia is also a major exporter of fertilizers and Ukraine a major supplier of corn and sunflower oil.
The Interfax news agency quoted Russia’s Defense Ministry as saying on Thursday that grain ships could leave Ukraine’s Black Sea ports through “humanitarian corridors” so that Moscow could be ready to ensure their safety.
Since Washington has blacklisted more individuals and entities linked to the Kremlin, including a major steel producer and a Celeste called Putin’s mediator, the European Union has given final approval to a sanctions package that would include a 90% reduction in Russian oil imports. Years.
Moscow has called the move “self-destructive” and said it could destabilize the global energy market.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)