Russian attacks threw a curtain of fire on Tuesday in areas of eastern Ukraine where pockets of resistance are stripping Moscow of full military control of the region, nearly four months after the Kremlin launched its invasion.
“Today, anything that can burn is on fire,” Serhiy Haidai, governor of the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine, told The UK Time News.
Russia’s war has alarmed Ukraine’s food supplies to the rest of the world and Russia’s gas supplies, while raising questions about security in Western Europe.
The Russian army currently controls around 95% of the Luhansk region. But Moscow struggled for weeks to completely invade, despite deploying additional troops and possessing a huge advantage in military means.
“With the help of tactical movements, the Ukrainian army is strengthening the defenses in the Lugansk region,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address. “That’s really where the most difficult situation is now.”
In the town of Sievierodonetsk, the hotspot of the fighting, Ukrainian defenders clung to the Azot chemical plant in the industrial outskirts. About 500 civilians are sheltering in the factory, and Haidai said Russian forces were turning the area “into rubble”.
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Ukraine strengthens its defenses in Luhansk
Ukrainian and Russian forces remained entrenched on battlefields in eastern Ukraine until Wednesday, a day of commemoration in both countries to mark the anniversary of Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.
Fighting in the months-long war has favored Russia in recent weeks because of its huge advantage in artillery firepower, a fact Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy acknowledged in a speech late Tuesday night.
“Through tactical maneuvers, the Ukrainian army is strengthening its defenses in the Luhansk region,” he said. “It’s really the most difficult place. The occupiers are also pushing towards Donetsk.”
“And just as actively as we are fighting for a positive European Union decision on Ukraine’s candidate status, we are also fighting every day for modern weapons for our country. We are not giving up a single day,” Zelenskiy said, urging nations that support his country to speed up arms deliveries.
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