This Saturday, Russia intensified the offensive in the Donbas region, in eastern Ukraine, claimed control of the strategic town of Limán, and claimed that it successfully tested a hypersonic missile in the Arctic.
The Russian Ministry of Defense assured that it controls the town of Limán, a key point in its advance in the east of Ukrainewhich paves its troops the way to Sloviansk, which kyiv seized from pro-Russian separatists in 2014, Severodonetsk and Kramatorsk, the capital of the Donetsk region that remains under Ukrainian control.
“Following joint actions by militia units of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Russian armed forces, the city of Liman has been totally liberated from the Ukrainian nationalists,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyacknowledged in a video that “the situation in Donbas is very, very difficult.”
Zelensky assured that “if the occupiers think that Liman and Severodonetsk will be theirs, they are wrong.” “Donbas will be Ukrainian,” he reiterated.
A police chief of the pro-Russian separatists in Lugansk, quoted by the Russian news agency Ria Novosti, stated that “Severodonetsk is currently surrounded” and the Ukrainian forces are trapped.
But the governor of Luhansk, Sergei Gaidai, assured by Telegram that it is wrong to say that the region will fall under Russian “total enemy control” in “one, two or three days”.
“Most likely they won’t” take it, but “perhaps to avoid being surrounded, there could be an order for our troops to withdraw,” he admitted.
After the unsuccessful offensive on kyiv and Kharkov (northeast) at the beginning of the war launched by Russia on February 24, Russian forces concentrated in eastern Ukraine to control the mining area of the Donbás, which since 2014 has been partially in the hands of pro-Russian separatists supported by Moscow.
Meanwhile, in a show of power, the Russian army announced that it had carried out another successful test of the Zircon hypersonic cruise missile, from the frigate “Admiral Gorshkov”, in the Barents Sea, to a target located a thousand kilometers away, in waters of the sea White, in the Arctic.
France and Germany urge Putin to negotiate
On the diplomatic front, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz urged the Russian president, Vladimir Putin a start “direct and serious negotiations” with his Ukrainian counterpart.
In a telephone conversation they also asked him to release the 2,500 Ukrainian fighters who barricaded themselves in the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, and were taken prisoner by the Russians.
The war in Ukraine, which is an agricultural powerhouseraised the specter of a food crisis, as the country cannot export its cereals due to the blockade of its ports.
Putin proposed this week to help “overcome the food crisis” on the condition that sanctions against Moscow are lifted first, prompting allegations of blackmail.
But this Saturday, Putin assured that will allow the export of cereals from Ukraine, especially by sea.
Putin warns of “destabilization”
kyiv again called for more Western weapons.
“Some allies avoid giving the necessary weapons for fear of escalation. Escalation? Russia already uses the heaviest non-nuclear weapons, burning people alive. Maybe it’s time (…) to give ourselves” multiple rocket launchers, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhailo Podoliak tweeted.
means of USA They cited that possibility, but Pentagon spokesman John Kirby did not confirm it.
“We remain committed to helping them win on the battlefield,” he said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged his country’s continued support “including help to deliver whatever weapons they need” in a call with Zelensky, his office said.
For his part, Putin warned in the conversation with the leaders of Germany and France against the “dangers” of “further destabilization”.
On the religious front and in an unprecedented move, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, hitherto linked to Moscow, has severed ties with Russian spiritual authorities, who support Russian President Vladimir Putin.
the church pronounced “full independence and autonomy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church”according to a statement in which he noted that his relations with the Moscow leadership were “complicated or non-existent” since the beginning of the war.