DRussian troops bombarded areas in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday with heavy bombing. “Everything that can burn is on fire today,” Luhan Governor Serhiy Hajdaj told the situation on the spot. The Russian army wants complete control of the region, but despite fierce attacks and the deployment of other troops, it still faces resistance.
After weeks of hard fighting, Russia wants to finally reach its first war goal in the east of Ukraine this week – the conquest of the Luhansk region. The conquest of the industrial city of Sierodonetsk is still crucial for Russia’s ability to gain control of the missing territories of Luhansk.
The Russian military currently controls about 95 percent of the Luhansk region. Hajdaj said Russian troops had reduced the area to rubble. “It is a complete disaster,” Hajdaj said in writing. “Our positions are shelled by howitzers, several rocket launchers, large-caliber artillery and missiles.”
According to its own statements, the Russian army has cut off supplies to Ukrainian troops in Sievjerodonetsk and Lysychansk. “The Ukrainian army group in the Lysychansk region is cut off from supplies and is under fire control by the Russian armed forces,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenko said on Tuesday.
According to a Russian military spokesman, Ukrainian forces in the region have suffered heavy losses. Of the 57th Mechanized Brigade stationed in Sieverodonetsk, only 28 troops remained, while hundreds of Ukrainian troops deserted in a small town a little further west, he said. This information cannot be independently verified.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office said Tuesday that at least six civilians had been killed and 16 others injured in the previous 24 hours.
According to Ukrainian sources, Russian forces shelled the Chernihiv region in the north during the day and increased shelling of Kharkov, Ukraine’s second largest city. There were also explosions in the southern city of Mykolaiv on Tuesday morning. A school burned down in Avdiivka in the Donetsk region as a result of shelling, the presidential office said.
Civilians are engaged in the chemical work of Azot
According to Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Wereshchuk, around 300 civilians were still staying at the Azot chemical plant. However, the situation is constantly changing, according to the Ukrainian agency Ukrinform. If civilians seeking protection express a desire to be evacuated, an attempt will be made to establish an escape corridor. Governor Hajdaj said on Saturday that civilians did not want to be evacuated, but were constantly in contact.
According to the Russian agency Interfax, about 20 Ukrainian civilians could leave the chemical plant on Monday. They used a passage that is not controlled by Ukrainian troops, and now they are “safe,” separatist leader Rodion Miroshnik said. He also accused Ukraine of using “constant shelling” to prevent the evacuation of civilians from the region.
Unlike the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, there is said to be no extensive network of anti-aircraft shelters in Azot. According to Hajda, the individual emergency shelters do not follow each other. In the system of bunkers under the Azovstal steelworks, Ukrainian defenders and civilians held on for weeks after the conquest of Mariupol by Russian troops.
Ukraine has been asking its Western allies for heavy weapons for weeks to repel Russia’s move in eastern Ukraine. In the east of the country, long-range fighting with heavy artillery takes place. Here, Russia clearly outperforms Ukraine in terms of large arms.
The Berlin-Bratislava-Kyiv ring exchange is delayed
Although Germany promised to deliver heavy weapons almost two months ago, none of them arrived in Ukraine. There is clearly still a problem with the indirect supply of such weapons.
According to a report by the Business Insider portal, the planned German-Slovak ring exchange for arms supplies to Ukraine has been delayed for two months because Berlin does not offer enough tanks. According to the stock exchange, Slovakia would supply Ukraine with 30 main Soviet-made 7-72 battle tanks – and in return would receive more modern German tanks as replacements.
According to the report, the Slovak government refused the exchange last week after Germany offered 15 Leopard 2A4 tanks. From Slovakia’s point of view, this is too small a replacement for 30 T-72 tanks to be delivered to Ukraine. According to a report by a spokeswoman for the Slovak Ministry of Defense, 15 MBT Leopard “cannot be a solution for us because we need 30 MBT for a tank battalion”.
In a video speech on Tuesday evening, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reiterated that in his opinion Ukraine belongs to Europe and deserves the status of an EU candidate country. The country invaded by Russia proves every day that it is already part of a single European area of values, Zelensky said. According to him, Ukraine’s aspirations to join the EU made Russia very nervous.
The European Commission on Friday recommended that Ukraine and Moldova be nominated as candidates for accession to the European Union. The heads of state and government of the 27 EU countries must now decide at their summit on Thursday.
According to Zelenský, the defense against Russian invaders is also about drawing attention to the suffering of Ukrainians and mobilizing international aid. However, the longer the war lasts, the more difficult it is to “compete for the attention of hundreds of millions of people in different countries.” Nevertheless, he will “do his best not to lose sight of Ukraine.”
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