Ukraine says it still controls Sievierodonetsk plant sheltering hundreds -Breaking
© Reuters. A military strike was launched on the Azot Chemical Plant compound in Sievierodonetsk. It took place amid Russia’s aggression on Ukraine. The incident occurred in Lysychansk. Picture taken June 10, 2022. REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak
Natalia Zinets and Max Hunder
KYIV, Reuters – In Sievierodonetsk there was bitter fighting. But the Governor of the Region said Ukraine remained the owner of an area in eastern Kiev and a chemical plant. There are hundreds of civilians sheltering from the Russian shelling.
On Saturday, a Russia-backed separatist group claimed that 300-400 Ukrainian fighters were trapped at Azot.
Serhiy Gaidai, governor of Luhansk, stated that Russian forces had taken control of most of Luhansk’s small town. He also said that Russian bombardment of the plant had set off a large fire following an oil spillage. The fire may still be burning Sunday, it was unclear.
Russian media reported that smoke rose from the explosion of a chemical plant in Avdiivka.
Sievierodonetsk is the epicenter of eastern Ukraine’s battle to control the industrialised Donbas, made up by the Luhansk (and Donetsk) provinces. The fighting has destroyed large parts of the city, and it has been the most bloody since Moscow invaded the country on February 24th.
Moscow had to scale back its initial goals of removing troops that were menacing Kyiv and has now turned to expanding control within the Donbas. Pro-Russian separatists are in charge of a significant portion since 2014.
Putin refers to the invasion as “special military operations” that aims at disarming and “denazifying” Ukraine. It is a war of aggression unprovoked to seize territory, according to Kyiv and allies.
Gaidai stated that the information regarding the Azot plant being blocked is false on Telegram. “Our forces hold an industrial zone in Sievierodonetsk. They are also destroying the Russian Army.”
Ukraine claims that 800 persons were sheltering in bomb shelters beneath the plant. These include employees as well as residents of Sievierodonetsk.
Rodion Miroshnik (a Russian-backed representative from the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic) said that Ukrainian forces could be keeping several hundred civilians “hostage”.
The Ukrainian armed forces claimed that they had defeated a Russian assault on three towns in Donetsk’s northwest, Sloviansk, and fighting was continuing in another settlement to the east.
UKRAINE RESILIENT. UKRAINE NEEDS SUPPORT
Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the Ukrainian president, stated in a video that Ukraine was slowly retaking territory in the Kherson region. He also mentioned some victories in Zaporizhzhia.
“We will definitely prevail in the war that Russia started,” he said to a Singaporean conference by videolink. The future world rules are decided on the Ukrainian battlefields.
Reuters couldn’t independently verify battlefield reports.
Ukraine called for quicker deliveries of heavy weapons to the West, in an effort to reverse the trend of violence.
The Ukrainian army has shown greater resilience than they expected. However, the Institute for the Study of War in the United States stated that, as they run out of Soviet-era weapons, and munitions they have, they will need consistent Western support.
Pavlo Kyrylenko (the governor of Donetsk) stated that two civilians died in Russian bombardment on Saturday, and at most 10 were injured.
Students from Kharkiv’s northeastern region returned to the school they had destroyed to host a prom. They danced and took pictures.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will travel to Kyiv with French President Emmanuel Macron Macron, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and other French officials, Bild am Sonntag reports.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, none of these three have been to Kyiv. Macron tried to establish a dialog with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Some eastern European countries and Baltic states see this as a threat to their attempts to force him into negotiations.
Ursula von der Leyen (President of European Commission) stated that in the next week, the European Union Executive’s decision on Ukraine’s request for membership would be available.
The 27 EU member countries must agree to give Ukraine the status of a candidate. There would then be lengthy talks to discuss reforms that would allow Ukraine to be eligible for EU membership.
Volodymyr Trush, governor in Ternopil, western Ukraine, stated that a Russian strike was carried out in Chortkiv on Saturday evening. Since April, no Russian planes have attacked this area.
Local authorities cut off while working with “the consequences of the explosion”, Trush said, but did not elaborate. Chortkiv’s mayor urged residents to stay in shelters.