When will the war in Ukraine end? Three months after the war, Russia has intensified attacks in the eastern parts of the war-torn country, and questions are being raised among world leaders pushing for a ceasefire. After taking some major cities, Russia is now targeting the strategic city of Severodonetsk in the Luhansk region. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says that although his troops are “holding up” in the main city, it has “become one of the dead cities”. The fighting has been concentrated in the east of the country since April, where Russian troops were advancing after being beaten back from other parts. Thousands of civilians have died since the attack began on February 24 and millions have been displaced.
Here are the key updates on the war between Russia and Ukraine:
1. Ukrainian forces suffered a huge setback after retaking parts of the eastern city of Severodonetsk, where Volodymyr Zelensky had warned his forces were “outnumbered” by a stronger side. Zelensky told media that “we are holding out in the main city, but there are more and they are stronger,” AFP reported.
Also read: Macron’s remark ‘must not humiliate Russia’ stirs Ukraine’s anger: ‘can only…’
2. The Ukrainian president said that Severodonetsk and neighboring Lysychansk have now become “dead cities”. “They shoot endlessly here… It’s a horror show,” he added.
3. Ukraine is in talks with the United Nations about ways to export grain from ports blocked by the Russian military, Zelensky said, Bloomberg reported. However, Kiev is still skeptical about a tentative deal between Turkey and Moscow to restart shipments.
4. Amid fierce fighting in and around the strategic city of Severodonetsk, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was barred from entering Serbia.
5. The Ukrainian president said “the most dangerous situation” of the war is currently in Zaporizhzhya — a region west of Donetsk, which is partially occupied by Russian troops, Bloomberg reported. “We understand, and we see from the intercepted calls, that the enemy wants to occupy Zaporizhzhya,” he told media.
6. The UK will follow the US and send long-range missile systems to Ukraine, in violation of Russian warnings against delivery to Kiev. The British Ministry of Defense said in a statement: “The M270 launchers, which can hit targets up to 80 kilometers (50 miles) away with precision-guided missiles, will give the Ukrainian armed forces a significant boost.”
7. Shortly after the UK joined the US and promised to send weapons to Kiev, Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to attack new targets in Ukraine if longer-range missiles were delivered.
8. The Russian Defense Ministry has said its plane hit three weapons depots and a fuel depot near the village of Kodema in the Donetsk region.
Also read: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visits front lines as fighting rages
9. According to Kiev, the situation in the Kherson region in the south is “critical”. There is an absence of “mobile and internet networks, food supplies, medicines and cash,” it added, AFP reported.
10. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry warned that the “enemy” is ramping up attacks on infrastructure, including roads, and “creating rail pontoon bridges over rivers” around Kharkiv.
(With input from agencies)