Ukrainians were driven out by the Russians in a major town to the east.
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– The battle of Sevgirodontsk will determine the fate of Donbass in many ways.
This is what Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said BBC. There is now an intense war around the city, which is strategically important for the Russians.
Donbass is the easternmost region of Ukraine, and Sievjerodonetsk is the second largest city in the region. In these parts of Ukraine, there has long been a Russian presence through groups seeking to become part of Putin’s regime. Therefore the city is of strategic importance for the Russians to have a proper foothold in the East.
Pressing the edge
The situation is confusing. A few days ago, large parts of the city were under Russian control, according to British intelligence. Heavy fighting is currently taking place in the area. Zelensky says that they are inferior to the Russian forces, but the Ukrainian forces inflicted heavy losses on the enemy. Now, he says, Ukrainians are being pushed to the outskirts of the city.
One cannot say that the Russians are in control of the city, according to Zelensky BBC.
Ukrainian soldiers trying to hold out in Severodonetsk are now under constant artillery attacks by Russian forces, according to Luhansk Governor Serhiy Hagdag.
Nobody wants to give up, he says.
During May, the Russians largely succeeded in encircling the city and slowly tightened their hold on the city. About 150,000 people live in the city, but most of them are said to have been evacuated. According to the BBC, there will be 15,000 civilians remaining in Severodonetsk and the neighboring city of Lysekhansk.
Towards EU membership
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the Russian attacks on Ukraine have exacerbated crises around the world. In particular, it has caused a food crisis that threatens to throw millions into starvation. 1.6 billion people in 94 countries will be affected by at least one type of crisis as a result of war, according to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Ukraine is also approaching EU membership. Ukraine applied for membership in the European Union shortly after Russia invaded the country in late February. On Wednesday, the European Parliament approved a resolution demanding that Ukraine be granted candidate status. In short order, the European Commission plans to decide what will be the way forward in the membership process.
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