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HomeEuropean NewsUkraine stories ‘huge’ assault from Belarus – EURACTIV.com

Ukraine stories ‘huge’ assault from Belarus – EURACTIV.com



Ukraine stated it got here below “huge bombardment” Saturday (25 June) from neighbouring Belarus, a Russian ally not formally concerned within the battle, the day after asserting a retreat from the strategic metropolis of Severodonetsk.

Twenty rockets focused the village of Desna within the northern Chernigiv area, Ukraine’s northern navy command stated in an announcement, including that infrastructure was hit, however no casualties had but been reported.

Belarus has supplied logistic assist to Moscow for the reason that 24 February invasion, notably within the first few weeks, and like Russia has been focused by Western sanctions — however is formally not concerned within the battle.

“Right now’s strike is immediately linked to Kremlin efforts to drag Belarus as a co-belligerent into the warfare in Ukraine,” the Ukrainian intelligence service stated.

The strikes got here forward of a deliberate assembly between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarussian counterpart and shut ally Alexander Lukashenko in Saint Petersburg on Saturday.

Russia’s overseas ministry on Friday condemned the choice by Brussels to grant Ukraine official EU candidate standing as a transfer to “include Russia” geopolitically.

The choice “confirms {that a} geopolitical monopolisation of the CIS (Commonwealth of Impartial States) area is constant actively so as to include Russia,” overseas ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated in an announcement.

Ukraine’s Western allies in the meantime will collect on Sunday at a summit of G7 leaders in Germany, the place President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is about to talk.

US President Joe Biden can be attending the G7 and a summit of the NATO navy alliance in Madrid subsequent week.

‘Sluggish warfare’

Within the face-to-face talks, the Western allies will take inventory of the effectiveness of sanctions imposed to this point in opposition to Moscow, take into account attainable new assist for Ukraine, and start turning their eye to longer-term reconstruction plans.

The European Union supplied a powerful assertion of assist on Thursday when it granted Ukraine candidate standing, though the trail to membership is lengthy.

Moscow dismissed the EU choice as a transfer to “include Russia” geopolitically.

After 4 months, the battle stays centered on the Donbas area of japanese Ukraine, the place Kyiv’s forces have lastly given up a key hold-out, the economic metropolis of Severodonetsk.

Sergiy Gaiday, governor of the Lugansk area that features the town, stated on Friday that the navy had acquired the order to withdraw.

“Remaining in positions which were relentlessly shelled for months simply doesn’t make sense,” he stated on Telegram, including that 90 % of the town had been broken.

Severodonetsk has been the scene of weeks of avenue battles as outgunned Ukrainians put up a cussed defence.

Capturing the town and its twin throughout the river, Lysychansk, would successfully give the Russians management of Lugansk, and permit them to push additional into the broader Donbas.

However Ukraine’s retreat from Severodonetsk is not going to change the course of the warfare, stated Ivan Klyszcz, a world relations researcher at Estonia’s College of Tartu.

“The massive image — of a gradual warfare of entrenched positions — has hardly modified. We can not anticipate a large Russian breakthrough,” he informed AFP.

Individually, Russia stated Saturday its troops had killed as much as 80 Polish fighters in “precision strikes” on a manufacturing unit in Konstantinovka” within the Donetsk area. The declare couldn’t be independently verified.

Lysychansk below fireplace

Gaiday stated Russians have been now advancing on Lysychansk, which has been going through more and more heavy bombardments.

The scenario for those who stay within the metropolis is bleak.

Liliya Nesterenko, who was biking towards a buddy’s home to feed her pets, stated her dwelling had no gasoline, water or electrical energy, forcing her and her mom to cook dinner on a campfire.

However the 39-year-old was upbeat concerning the metropolis’s defences: “I imagine in our Ukrainian military, they need to (be capable of) cope.”

Andrei Marochko, a spokesman for the Moscow-backed military of Lugansk, stated Friday that every one the villages within the neighbouring areas of Zolote and Hirske have been now below the management of Russian or pro-Russian forces.

In a video on Marochko’s Telegram channel, a person in navy clothes might be seen changing a Ukrainian flag that includes a Zolote coat of arms with a purple hammer-and-sickle flag.

Russia’s defence ministry stated Friday that as much as 2,000 folks have been “utterly blocked” close to Zolote and Hirske, and that round half of Zolote was below Russian management.

Human stays

Russia has additionally intensified its offensive within the northern metropolis of Kharkiv in latest days.

An AFP group on Saturday noticed a 10-storey administrative constructing within the city-centre hit by missiles in a single day, inflicting a fireplace however no casualties.

It had already been bombed, prompting one soldier on the scene to notice: “The Russians are ending what they began.”

On Friday, the identical reporters discovered a stray canine consuming human stays within the city of Chuguiv, southeast of Kharkiv, the place an assault earlier this week left six useless.

Within the southern Kherson area, a Moscow-appointed official was killed by an explosive machine planted in his automobile, Russian information companies reported.

Moscow’s deputy head of Kherson, Kirill Stremousov, stated the regional head of the division of household, youth and sports activities had died “because of a terrorist act”.

It was the primary confirmed dying of a pro-Russian official throughout a string of assaults on pro-Kremlin officers in Ukrainian areas below Russian management.



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