Most of Severodonetsk is now controlled by Russian forces, according to Ukraine, as “the situation remains difficult”

“Nothing has changed in Severodonetsk, the situation remains difficult. Fighting continues, but unfortunately most of the city is under Russian control. Some position battles are taking place on the street,” said Serhiy Haidai, governor of Luhansk.

Severdonetsk is located in the heart of the Donbass, an extensive industrial region in eastern Ukraine that has suffered intermittent fighting since 2014, when Russia-backed separatists took control of two territories: the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic.

Russian-backed officials say negotiations are underway to release those at the local Azot chemical plant, where 800 people are reportedly taking refuge.

“Fighters are locked inside the Azot plant. The release of their hostages and their surrender are being negotiated,” said Rodion Miroshnik, leader of Russia’s allied Luhansk People’s Republic.

Miroshnik said up to 400 Ukrainian fighters are taking refuge in the factory complex, along with civilians in the plant’s anti-aircraft shelter.

“The fighters are trying to make demands, that is, to allow them to leave the territory of the chemical plant together with the hostages and provide a corridor to go to Lysychansk. These demands are unacceptable and will not be taken into account,” Miroshnik said. . .

Talks are also underway to allow the safe evacuation of civilians and the safety of Ukrainian forces if they surrender unconditionally, he added.

The death toll is rising in Mariupol

Further south in Mariupol, Ukraine’s Attorney General’s Office reported on Saturday 24 additional child deaths, following Russian bombings during a month-long siege on the southern port city.

The blockade ended last month after Russian forces took control of the Azovstal steel plant where Ukrainian forces had been hiding.

This brings the total number of child deaths during the Russian invasion of Ukraine to 287, the Prosecutor General’s Office said in a Telegram publication. More than 492 children were injured during the war, according to the statement.

The statement added that the figures were not complete as work was under way to control the deaths of children in other areas where there was active fighting.

The office also said 1,971 educational institutions had been damaged by Russian bombing, and 194 of them had been completely destroyed.

On May 25, an adviser to Mariupol Mayor Petro Andrushchenko, who has also moved to Ukraine-controlled territory, told CNN that Mariupol City Council officials believe at least 22,000 city residents they were killed during three months of war.

The news comes as the city is battling a possible cholera outbreak, according to a British intelligence report released on Friday.

Access to drinking water, Internet connection and telephone services are unreliable in the Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine, according to the report, which reflects the concerns of Ukrainian officials as Russia struggles to provide basic utilities to the civilian population in the areas it has occupied.

“Ukraine will definitely prevail”

As Russian forces advance control of key regions in Ukraine and the number of civilian casualties increases, President Volodymyr Zelensky has stood firm in his position that Ukraine will overcome the invasion of Russia.

In a special virtual address to the Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia’s leading defense conference, Zelensky said Ukraine would “definitely prevail” in its war against Russia.

“This is the confrontation between the possible, which we and many people in the world need, and the impossible, for which Russia is desperately fighting,” Zelensky said.

He added that Russia saw its country as its “colony” and was doing everything possible to prevent Ukraine from “existing freely and independently.”

“Russia wants to make it impossible for our people to use their land, resources and water in their best interests. Russia wants to steal them, and this active looting of the territory it has (managed to occupy) is being taken literally. everything, “Zelensky added.

“It is on the battlefield of Ukraine where the future rules of this world are decided along with the limits of what is possible,” Zelensky said.

“We save the whole world from going back to the days when everything was decided on the basis of the so-called right to power and when certain peoples and their ideas, and many nations, had no consequences,” Zelensky said.

The President of Ukraine also urged the leaders to do whatever it takes to “break the capacity of Russia and any other country in the world to block the seas and destroy freedom of navigation.”

Zelensky warned that failure to do so would result in an “acute and severe food crisis and famine” in many Asian and African countries. He added that the Black Sea, through which Ukraine exported most of its food before the invasion of Russia, has become the most dangerous waterway in the world.

Since the war began, Russia has prevented Ukraine from exporting goods from its ports, fueling fears of a global food crisis.

Before the war, supplies of wheat from Russia and Ukraine accounted for nearly 30 percent of world trade, and Ukraine was the world’s fourth largest exporter of corn and the fifth largest exporter of wheat, according to the U.S. State Department. The United Nations World Food Program, which helps combat global food insecurity, buys about half of its wheat in Ukraine each year and has warned of the dire consequences of not opening Ukrainian ports.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I appreciate your support in Ukraine, I appreciate your attention in Ukraine, in our country. But remember that this support and attention is not only for Ukraine, but also for you,” Zelensky said. dit.

CNN’s Kostan Nechyporenko, Jonny Hallam and Joshua Berlinger contributed to the reports.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *