Russia Claims Control Of A Flashpoint Ukrainian City In Part

After Kyiv stated its troops were fighting on in Ukraine’s flashpoint city of Severodonetsk despite being outmanned, Russia announced on Tuesday that its forces had taken full control of civilian neighbourhoods in the city.

“The residential sections of Severodonetsk have been entirely liberated,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a meeting of the defence ministry.

He claimed that the Russian army was still trying to take control of the city’s “industrial zone and the nearby communities,” despite contradicting information about who controls what.

Moscow has been attempting to seize control of the important industrial hub as part of its attempt to overrun a large section of eastern Ukraine, but Kyiv’s forces have so far held out.

“In Severodonetsk, our heroes are holding their ground. In the city, ferocious street brawls continue “Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, stated in a video message late Monday.

Ukrainian forces in the crucial city, Zelensky claimed, are outmanned, and the Russians “are stronger.” After visiting frontline positions at Lysychansk, across the river from Severodonetsk, Putin spoke to journalists.

Since President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian forces into Ukraine on February 24, thousands of civilians have been slaughtered and millions have been forced to flee their homes.

Russia has centred its assault on the eastern Donbas region after being rejected from other regions of the country, including Kyiv, and has been making sluggish but steady progress.

In recent weeks, the focus has shifted to Severodonetsk, the main city in the Lugansk portion of the Donbas still under Ukrainian control.

Denis Pushilin, the head of Ukraine’s pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk, reported the death of another Russian general in the combat on Tuesday.

On Telegram, Pushilin expressed his “sincere condolences to the family and friends” of Major General Roman Kutuzov, “who demonstrated how to serve the fatherland by example.”

Ukraine’s military claim to have killed numerous Russian high-ranking officials, but the actual number is unknown because Moscow is tight-lipped about casualties.

Russia has finished demining Mariupol, Ukraine’s second busiest port before the conflict, according to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

“It is running normally, and the first cargo ships have been accepted,” Shoigu added.

With combat raging in Ukraine’s east, Kyiv has slammed the UN’s nuclear inspector for attempting to visit Europe’s largest nuclear reactor in the country’s south while it is occupied by Russia.

Rafael Grossi, the chairman of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), announced on Monday that his organisation was planning an expert expedition to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station.

On Twitter, Grossi stated that the visit was scheduled after Ukraine “requested” it.

However, Ukraine’s nuclear agency, Energoatom, accused Grossi of lying on Tuesday and stated that the travel had not been approved.

“Visits to the plant will be available only if Ukraine regains control of the site,” Energoatom announced on Telegram.

“We see this announcement as a new attempt to acquire access to the Zaporizhzhia power plant in order to legitimise and endorse the occupants’ conduct.”

Russian military seized control of the plant in early March, threatening to shut Ukraine off from Zaporizhzhia unless Kyiv pays Moscow for the electricity generated.

The facility produced 20% of Ukraine’s annual electricity production and over half of all nuclear power produced in Ukraine in 2021, far before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian invasion, in combination with supply chain disruptions and climate change, has prompted dire predictions of worldwide food shortages.

Odessa, a significant black sea port, has been blocked by Moscow, and Zelensky claims Ukraine possesses up to 25 million tonnes of grain that cannot be shipped.

“That might be 70 to 75 million tonnes in the autumn,” said the president, whose country was once the world’s fourth largest grain exporter.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in Washington that claims that Russia took grain from Ukraine for sale are “credible.”

The United States and Europe urged Russia to end alleged sexual violence by its troops and proxies in Ukraine during a UN Security Council meeting, which Moscow dismissed as “falsehoods.”

The US Justice Department ordered the seizure of two aircraft owned by former Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich on Tuesday, as the West seeks to tighten sanctions on Russian oligarchs.

The US claims that the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner and Gulfstream G650ER executive jet were flown into Russian territory in violation of US export rules earlier this year.

In Fiji, a court determined that a $300 million superyacht tied to Russian businessman Suleiman Kerimov might be turned over to US authorities.

On Washington’s request, the Amadea, which has a helipad, pool, jacuzzi, and “winter garden,” was detained in Fiji in April.

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