Russian forces turn sights on Lysychansk in battle for eastern Ukraine

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Smoke and flames rise after a military attack on a complex of the Azot Chemical Plant of Sievierodonetsk, as Russia’s assault on Ukraine continues, in Lysychansk. (Photo by Reuters)

KYIV/POKROVSK, UKRAINE: Russian forces battled on Monday to achieve one of their strategic goals in Ukraine as Moscow-backed separatists said they were stepping up Lysychanskthe last major city still held by the Ukrainian army in the eastern part of Luhansk province.
Lysychansk’s twin city of Sievierodonetsk fell on Saturday in victory for Moscow’s campaign to capture the eastern provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk on behalf of pro-Russian separatists.
The Tass news agency on Sunday quoted a separatist official as saying that Moscow’s forces had entered Lysychansk from five directions and were isolating Ukrainian defenders. Reuters could not confirm the report.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said Russian forces were using artillery to try to cut off Lysychansk from the south but did not mention the separatists entering the city.
Elena, an elderly woman from Lysychansk, was among dozens of people evacuated to the Ukrainian town of Pokrovsk by bus from frontline areas.
“Lysychansk, it was a horror, last week. Yesterday we couldn’t take it any longer,” she said. “I told my husband if I died, bury me behind the house.”
The RIA agency quoted a separatist official as saying that separatists had evacuated more than 250 people, including children, on Sunday from Sievierodonetsk’s Azot chemical plant.
The industrial area was the last part of Sievierodonetsk held by Ukrainian forces before they withdrew on Saturday after weeks of fierce fighting left the town in ruins.
Russian Missiles attacked an apartment complex and near a kindergarten in Kyiv on Sunday as world leaders gathered in Germany for further discussions sanctions against Moscow.
Deputy Mayor Mykola Povoroznyk said one person was killed and six injured in the first incident Russian attack in the capital for a few weeks.
In his nightly speech, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy said an injured seven-year-old girl was pulled from the rubble of a nine-story apartment complex. The girl’s father was killed in the strike, he said.
“She was not threatened by anything in our country. She was completely safe, until Russia itself decided that everything was hostile to them now – women, children, kindergartens, houses, hospitals, railways,” Zelenskyy said.
A spokesman for the Ukrainian air force said the strike was carried out with four to six long-range missiles fired from bombers more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) away in southern Russia.
US President Joe Biden called the strikes “barbaric” as leaders of the Group of Seven gathered for a summit in Germany. Russia denies targeting civilians.
Other G7 leaders mocked Russian President Vladimir Putin as they gathered for group photos at the summit.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggested that leaders go topless and “show them our body parts” in reference to Putin’s topless poses over the years, including on horseback.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: “We will have topless horseback riding.” European Union President Ursula von der Leyen replied: “Oh yes. Riding is the best.”
Britain, Canada, Japan and the United States have proposed a ban on gold imports from Russia, targeting wealthy Russians who are buying bullion as a safe haven to reduce the financial impact of Western sanctions.
Leaders gathered in the Bavarian Alps are also expected to discuss a possible price cap on Russian oil and efforts to tackle soaring global food and energy prices.
This week, the United States is likely to announce the purchase of an advanced medium to long-range surface-to-air missile defense system for Ukraine, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday.
Russian missiles also on Sunday hit the central city of Cherkasy, which has so far been largely unaffected by the shelling, with one person killed and five, according to authorities. other injured.
Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said the attack also hit a strategic bridge connecting western Ukraine and eastern battlefields.
“They are trying to limit the transfer of our stockpiles and Western weapons to the east,” he told Reuters.
The Russian Defense Ministry said that it used high-precision weapons to attack military training centers in the Chernihiv, Zhytomyr and Lviv regions, clearly citing the airstrikes reported by Ukraine on Monday. Seven. There was no immediate comment on Sunday’s strikes against Kyiv or Cherkasy.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin called “special military operations“to eliminate the country of far-right nationalists and ensure Russia’s security.
Kyiv and the West dismiss it as an unfounded excuse for a war of choice that has killed thousands, caused millions to flee Ukraine and destroyed cities.
The conflict has raised prices of gas, oil and food, pushed the European Union to reduce its dependence on Russian energy, and prompted Finland and Sweden to seek NATO membership.
Russia edged closer to default on Sunday amid little sign that investors holding its international bonds have received payment, which will be the country’s first default. this country for many decades.



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