Ukraine says Russia shells more than 40 towns in Donbas push -Breaking
© Reuters. As Russia continues its attack on Ukraine, a police officer is seen walking next to the school that was damaged in a Russian military strike. This happened in Kostiantynivka in Donetsk, Ukraine, May 22, 2022. Picture taken May 22, 2022. REUTERS/Anna Kudriav
Max Hunder and Pavel Polityuk
KYIV (Reuters – Russian forces have shelled over 40 Ukrainian towns in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas, Ukraine’s military stated. They threatened to close off the main escape route of civilians caught in their path. This is now the fourth month.
After failing to seize Ukraine’s capital Kyiv or its second city Kharkiv, Russia is trying to take full control of the Donbas, comprised of two eastern provinces Moscow claims on behalf of separatists.
Russia has poured thousands of troops into the region, attacking from three sides in an attempt to encircle Ukrainian forces holding out in the city of Sievierodonetsk and its twin Lysychansk. They would bring the entire Luhansk Province under Russian control. This is a crucial Kremlin war objective.
“The occupiers shelled more than 40 towns in Donetsk and Luhansk region, destroying or damaging 47 civilian sites, including 38 homes and a school. The Joint Task Force of Ukraine’s armed forces stated on Facebook that five civilians had been killed in this attack and that 12 others were injured.
It stated that 10 enemy attacks had been repulsed and that four tanks, four drones, and 62 soldiers were also destroyed.
Volodymyr Zeleskiy, Ukraine’s President, said that Russian troops were “heavily superior” to his forces in parts of the east.
Reuters couldn’t confirm independently the battlefield reports.
Moscow wants to strengthen its hold on territory it has captured, and President Vladimir Putin signed an order facilitating the procedure for citizens of newly-captured districts to apply for Russian citizenship.
On Wednesday, the Russian Parliament removed the upper age limit to contract service in military. This highlights the necessity of replacing lost soldiers.
Zelenskiy commented on Russian enlistment rules in late night video. He said that although they no longer have enough young men (but still have the will and determination to fight) However, it will be difficult to crush their will.
Zelenskiy claimed this week that direct talks between Putin and him could end the conflict.
Russia refers to its actions against Ukraine as “special operation”, describing them as an attempt to arm Ukraine and safeguard it from fascists. The West and Ukraine both claim that the claims of fascists are unfounded and that war was an unprovoked aggression.
Serhiy Gadai, Luhansk’s regional governor, stated that police in Lysychansk have begun collecting the bodies of those who were killed to place them in mass graves. He added that around 150 people had been buried at a Lysychansk mass grave.
Gaidai explained that relatives of mass-graved victims will now be able conduct a reburial. Also, police have issued documents to allow Ukrainians to get death certificates.
Pokrovsk is a Ukrainian-held Donbas town that has been a key hub for evacuations and supplies. A missile struck a track in the railway line and caused damage to nearby structures.
The streets of Kramatorsk were close to the front line. However, the streets in Sloviansk west had been deserted. Many residents used what Ukraine called a “break in the Russian attack” for their escape.
Vera Safronova, who was seated amongst the evacuatees in a train car, said, “My house has been bombed. I don’t have anything.”
A Facebook aide said that two civilians were killed in the Russian artillery bombardment of Balakliya, Kharkiv Region, and that seven others had been injured.
Russia also targets the southern Ukraine. Officials claim that Russia shelling has killed one civilian, damaged scores of homes in Zaporozhzhia, and destroyed an industrial plant in Kryviy Rih.
Moscow has blocked vessels from Ukraine’s southern coast that were supposed to export Ukrainian oil and wheat through the Black Sea. This is pushing up international prices. To avoid widespread hunger, the African Union asked both nations to remove blocks on exports.
Russia claims that Western sanctions are to blame for the crisis in food. On Wednesday, Russia said it would provide humanitarian assistance to vessels transporting food out of Ukraine and requested that sanctions be lifted.
Russia is under severe sanctions by the Western countries.
Russia is now closer to historic default due to America’s refusal to extend its license to bondholders. Moscow has been able to maintain its payments on government debt through this waiver.
On Wednesday, the European Commission suggested that Russia be punished for violating EU sanctions.
Furthermore, the EU said that sanctions would be agreed upon on Russian oil by EU leaders before their next meeting.
Russia is, at the moment, not in short of cash. High energy prices accounted for $28 billion of oil and gas revenue in April.