As Russian forces lay siege to the eastern city of Severodonetsk and destroy the last bridges leading into the industrial hub, the President of Ukraine has made an impassioned plea to Western allies to expedite the delivery of arms and assist in preventing “terrifying” casualties. He also asked for assistance in reducing the number of civilian deaths.
As the only places in the eastern Donbas region of Lugansk that are still under Ukrainian control, the towns of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk have been the focus of Ukrainian military efforts for many weeks.
On Monday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the human cost of the ongoing conflict for control of the area was “absolutely horrifying.”
Zelenskyy voiced confidence in Ukraine’s capacity to regain land, and he pleaded with Ukraine’s friends to supply the country more weaponry.
To assure the success of all of this, we just want a sufficient number of firearms. Our business partners already have them.”
On Monday, Presidential Advisor Mikhaylo Podolyak provided a list of equipment that he believes are necessary for the Ukrainian army, including hundreds of howitzers, tanks, and armoured vehicles.
He tweeted, “Being frank – in order to put an end to this conflict, we need big weaponry.”
After many weeks of Russian offensive operations, the regional governor of the region, Sergiy Gaiday, said on Monday that Ukrainian troops had been driven back from the centre of Severodonetsk.
They were able to demolish all of the bridges, so entering the city is no longer an option. According to what he said on Radio Free Europe, evacuation is also not an option.
According to him, Russian troops hold between 70 and 80 percent of the city, but they have not taken it or surrounded it.
The defence minister of Ukraine said a week ago that up to 100 of his forces were being killed each day, and another 500 were being injured. In the past, Zelenskyy had calculated that between sixty and one hundred Ukrainian troops were killed each day.
Eduard Basurin, a spokesperson for pro-Russian rebels, said that the only options left for Ukrainian soldiers operating in the Lugansk region are “to submit or die” as a result of the increasing pressure on the area.
In Moscow’s effort to seize Donbas, the conquest of Severodonetsk would open the route to Sloviansk and another significant city called Kramatorsk. Donbas is a mostly Russian-speaking territory that has been partially controlled by pro-Kremlin rebels since 2014.
On Monday, Amnesty International accused Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine, stating that assaults on the city of Kharkiv in the country’s northeast had resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians. Many of these attacks included the use of cluster bombs, which are illegal.
According to a study written by a human rights organisation on Ukraine’s second-largest city, “the repeated bombardments of residential neighbourhoods in Kharkiv are indiscriminate strikes which killed and maimed hundreds of people, and as such constitute war crimes.”
The police in Bucha, a hamlet close to Kyiv that has become associated with suspicions of war crimes, said that they had found another seven dead in a grave.
Andriy Nebytov, the head of police for the Kyiv area, said on Facebook that some of the victims had their wrists tied and their legs shackled.
In April, when Russian soldiers finally pulled out of the region after occupying it for a month, the town was searched and dozens of dead dressed in civilian clothes were discovered there.
The village of Pryluky, which is located in another part of northern Ukraine, was reportedly struck by rocket fire from Russia on Monday.
A military airstrip may be found in the town of Pryluky, which is located around 150 kilometres (93 miles) east of the city.
In Donetsk, separatist officials said that a market had been shelled by the Ukrainian military, resulting in three deaths and four injuries.
After many months of shelling, the neighbouring city of Lysychansk has sustained extensive damage and is now without running water, power, or a phone connection.
Exchanging fire with Russian troops battling for control of Severodonetsk, which is immediately over the river from the city, Ukrainian artillery employs the high ground inside the city itself.
Maksym Katerin, a resident of Lysychansk, buried both his mother and stepfather in the garden of his home on Monday, after a shell burst through his yard and immediately killed both of them.
Katerin was quoted as saying, “I have no idea who is responsible for this, but if I did, I would rip off their arms.”
Yevgeniya Panicheva, who lived next door to Katerin, broke down in tears as she described how Katerin’s mother “was laying here, her stomach was ruptured and her intestines were flowing out.” Why did they treat her in such a manner?
They continue to bomb, and we are at a loss for what to do in response.
According to AFP police sources, the city also saw the death of a youngster aged six years old on Sunday.
Members of the World Trade Organization assembled in Geneva to discuss the danger that Russia’s invasion poses to food security throughout the world. This meeting took place thousands of miles away from the conflict.
On Monday, the deputy agriculture minister of Ukraine said that his country had lost a quarter of its arable land, but he asserted that the country’s ability to provide its citizens with food was not in jeopardy.
The necessity to repair the damage caused by Russian forces who moved through the region in March has caused a delay in the harvest on a farm close to the city of Mykolaiv in the southern part of Ukraine.
According to Nadiia Ivanova, 42 years old, who spoke with AFP, “we planted pretty late because we wanted to clean everything beforehand,” even bombshells.
There are now no buyers for the 2,000 tonnes of grain that are stored in the farm’s storage from the previous harvest.