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As Russia Lays Siege To Severodonetsk, Ukraine’s Zelenski Pleads For Arms

Story Highlights
  • According to him, Russian forces hold 70 to 80 percent of the city, but have yet to seize or encircle it.
  • The farm's warehouses currently hold 2,000 tonnes of grain from the previous season, but no one wants it.

As Russian soldiers lay siege to the eastern city of Severodonetsk, destroying the final bridges into the industrial powerhouse, Ukraine’s president has issued an emotional plea to Western allies to speed up military supply and help prevent “terrifying” losses.

For weeks, the cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk have been targeted as the final areas of Lugansk’s eastern Donbas region still under Ukrainian control.

The human cost of the war for the region, according to President Volodymyr Zelensky, is “just horrific.”

Zelensky voiced confidence in Ukraine’s ability to retake land, urging friends to supply more weapons to the country.

“To ensure all of this, we simply need enough firearms. They’re with one of our partners.”

On Monday, presidential advisor Mikhaylo Podolyak enumerated equipment that the Ukrainian army, according to him, requires, including hundreds of howitzers, tanks, and armoured vehicles.

“To put it bluntly, we need heavy weapons to end the fight,” he tweeted.

Severodonetsk under siege

After a weeks-long Russian attack, regional governor Sergiy Gaiday claimed Monday that Ukraine’s forces had been forced back from Severodonetsk’s centre.

“They demolished all of the bridges, making access to the city impossible. It is also impossible to evacuate “He said this to Radio Free Europe.

According to him, Russian forces hold 70 to 80 percent of the city, but have yet to seize or encircle it.

Ukraine’s defence minister warned last week that up to 100 of his troops were dying every day and 500 were injured. Prior to this, Zelensky believed that 60-100 Ukrainian soldiers died every day.

With the clamps tightening on the Lugansk region, Ukrainian forces have two options: “surrender or perish,” according to Eduard Basurin, a pro-Russian separatist official.

In Moscow’s effort to take Donbas, a predominantly Russian-speaking region partly held by pro-Kremlin rebels since 2014, the capture of Severodonetsk would pave the way for Sloviansk and another important city, Kramatorsk.

‘War crimes’

Amnesty International accused Russia of war crimes in Ukraine on Monday, claiming that attacks on the northeastern city of Kharkiv killed hundreds of civilians, many of whom were murdered by banned cluster bombs.

“The repeated bombardments of residential neighbourhoods in Kharkiv are indiscriminate strikes that killed and maimed hundreds of civilians, and as such constitute war crimes,” the rights organisation stated in a report about Ukraine’s second-largest city.

Police said they discovered another seven victims in a grave in Bucha, a village near Kyiv that has become synonymous with war crimes charges.

“Several victims had their hands and knees shackled,” claimed Andriy Nebytov, the regional police head in Kyiv, on Facebook.

After Russian troops departed from the area after a month-long occupation, dozens of dead in civilian dress were discovered in the town in April.

‘They bomb and they bomb’

Russian rocket strikes attacked the town of Pryluky in northern Ukraine on Monday, according to authorities.

A military airfield is located in Pryluky, about 150 kilometres (93 miles) east of the capital.

Separatist authorities in Donetsk stated three persons were killed and four others were injured in a market shelling by Ukrainian forces.

After months of bombardment, the neighbouring city of Lysychansk has been severely destroyed, with no water, electricity, or phone service.

The city’s high terrain is being used by Ukrainian artillery to exchange fire with Russian forces fighting for control of Severodonetsk, which is immediately across the river.

Maksym Katerin, a Lysychansk native, buried his mother and stepfather in his garden on Monday after a shell smashed through his yard, instantly killing them.

“I don’t know who did this, but if I did, I’d rip their arms off,” Katerin remarked.

Yevgeniya Panicheva, Katerin’s next-door neighbour, cried as she said Katerin’s mother had died “Her stomach was ripped open and her guts were spilling out. She was a wonderful, friendly, and helpful lady. What were they thinking when they did this to her?”

“They keep bombing, and we have no idea what to do.”

According to AFP, a six-year-old kid was also slain in the city on Sunday.

Harvest delayed

Members of the World Trade Organization assembled in Geneva, far from the war, to discuss the threat to world food security posed by Russia’s invasion.

On Monday, Ukraine’s deputy agriculture minister said that a fifth of the country’s arable land had been lost, but that the country’s food security was not jeopardised.

The harvest has been delayed on a farm near the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv due to the necessity to repair damage caused by Russian forces who passed through the area in March.

Nadiia Ivanova, 42, told AFP, “We planted pretty late because we wanted to remove everything beforehand,” even bombshells.

The farm’s warehouses currently hold 2,000 tonnes of grain from the previous season, but no one wants it.

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