- Zhivrodonetsk War Key Donbass – Zhelensky
- The industrial city is being destroyed, Luhansk Governor
- Ukrainian troops retreat to the suburbs of the city
- Russian troops outnumber Ukrainians in US Donbass
KYIV / SLOVIANSK, Ukraine, June 9 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s president has said the war for the city of Siverodonetsk will be fierce and will determine the fate of the Donbass region. Controls eastern Ukraine.
The Kremlin says Russian-backed separatists are seeking to completely “liberate” Donbass, which broke away from control of the Ukrainian government in 2014 after failing to take control of the capital, Kiev.
Feb. 24 One-third of the Donbass was occupied by separatists before the invasion.
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“This is a terrible war, a very difficult one, perhaps the most difficult one throughout this war,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky said in a video statement on Wednesday.
“Sievierodonetsk is the center of the encounter in Donbass … by and large, the fate of our Donbass is now being determined,” he added.
Ukrainian militants returned to the city’s suburbs on Wednesday, but promised to fight there as long as possible.
“Enemies opened fire on our units with motors, artillery and several rocket launchers,” Ukrainian civil servants said on Thursday.
Russia denies targeting civilians
Artillery fire has turned a city in the Ukrainian province of Luhansk into a bombing ground. Luhansk Regional Governor Sergei Kaidai said the city center would be demolished.
Kaitoi said a chemical plant in Siverodonetsk had been shelled, killing four civilians in the area in the past 24 hours.
Kaitoy said Ukrainian forces still control all of Lychisansk, a small twin town on the west bank of the Shivorsky Donetsk River, but Russian forces are destroying residential buildings there.
Reuters has not been able to independently verify the situation on land in both cities.
According to CNN, Kiev’s ambassador to the United States, Ukrainian troops are concentrated in Luhansk and Donetsk, which together form the large Russian-speaking region of Donbass.
But “as we have already seen in the Kiev war, something will be lost temporarily. Of course, we will try to reduce it, because we know what (when) the Russians will control the territories, but we will get it back,” Oksana Markarova said.
Guido said Russia now controls more than 98% of Luhansk.
‘God Saved Me’
Women with small children lined up on Wednesday to collect aid, while other residents carried buckets of water across the city, west of Sivirodonetsk in Slovenesk, one of the main Donbass cities in Ukrainian hands.
Most of the residents fled, but officials say about 24,000 people remain in the city in the wake of an expected offensive that Russian forces will reunite in the north.
Albina Petrovna, 85, described the moment her building was trapped in an attack that shattered her windows and destroyed her balcony.
“The broken glass fell on me, but God saved me, I have scratches everywhere,” he said.
The Ukrainian military says four people have been killed in Russian shelling of about 20 cities in Donbass in the past 24 hours, and its troops have killed 31 Russian soldiers. Reuters could not immediately confirm the figures.
In Soledar, Donetsk, as shells hit the city on Wednesday, residents took refuge in the foundations.
“We are shelling day and night. The shell attack is going on. We are in the basement almost all the time. The apartment is nearby, we run there during the day. We stay here at night,” said one resident. Give her name.
Another resident, 65 – year – old Antonina, cried and asked, “When will this end?”
The Kharkiv Regional Emergency Department said two people were killed and four others were injured when a shell fire engulfed a hotel, grocery store and the school library.
Moscow claims to be engaged in a “special military operation” to disarm and “reduce” its neighbors. Ukraine and its allies claim that Moscow has launched an unprovoked war of aggression, killing thousands of civilians and leveling cities.
UN figures show that more than 7 million people have crossed the border into Ukraine since Russia’s invasion on February 24.
Fear of grain
Ukraine is one of the world’s largest grain exporters, and Western nations accuse Russia of creating the risk of a global famine by besieging Ukraine’s Black Sea and Azov seaports. Moscow blames Western sanctions for food shortages
The Turkish broker is trying to negotiate the opening of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu hosted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday and said a UN-backed agreement on ports would be possible through further talks. read more
Ukrainian ports could be opened, but Lavrov said Ukraine would have to demine them first. Ukraine has rejected Russia’s guarantees as “empty words” and said Russian attacks on farmland and farmland would exacerbate the crisis.
Vitaliy Kim, governor of the Mykolaiv region, whose Russian shelling destroyed the warehouses of one of Ukraine’s largest agricultural terminals over the weekend, said Reuters Moscow was trying to scare the world into fulfilling its rules. read more
The Kremlin quoted Russian President Vladimir Putin as saying that Western barriers to Russian grain markets should be removed. read more
Zelenskiy said in a video link at the Yale University Business Leaders’ Summit on Wednesday that he hoped Russia would not seek a diplomatic end to the war until the world supports the war with Ukrainian troops.
“We are a free, just, ordinary country,” Zhelensky said of his troops’ war efforts: “We are doing it on our land, we are slowly pushing them back. That’s how we continue to move.”
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Additional report by Reuters bureau; Written by Rami Job and Michael Perry; Editing by Cynthia Asterman, Lincoln Feast and Kim Gogil
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