►Russians advance in Severodonetsk
“The Russians continue their offensive and consolidate their positions in the centre.Severodonetsk”, The strategic city in eastern Ukraine, the regional governor said on Wednesday (June 1). The city has become the province’s administrative capital for Ukrainian authorities since the capture of the city of Luhansk by pro-Russian separatists backed by Moscow in 2014.
→ READ AGAIN. War in Ukraine Day 97: Severodonetsk Almost Taken, Russian Attack on Nitric Acid Plant
On Tuesday, Russian airstrikes hit a nitric acid tank at a factory in the city. Nitric acid can cause damage or loss of vision, especially in the lungs.
The district governor declared that nothing had happened. “There is no longer the possibility of leaving Severodonetsk”, clashes are too dangerous to allow the evacuation of civilians. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said on Tuesday that about 12,000 civilians could be trapped in fighting and shelling in this city, which had a population of 100,000 before the war.
► A Russian official raised annexations in Ukraine in early July
One of the Russian negotiators on the conflict in Ukraine told the Ria Novosti agency on Wednesday that he could hold a July referendum on annexing Ukrainian territory militarily conquered by Russia.
→ READ AGAIN. Russia recognizes independence of all separatist regions in Ukraine
These are the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, where Moscow recognizes its independence and whose leaders desire to join Russia, as well as the regions of Kherson and Zaporozhye in southern Ukraine, which the army has largely conquered since the end of February.
► Moscow prepares for European oil embargo
Russia takes steps “to minimize” The impact of the embargo on Russian oil, which was decided by the European Union to punish the attack in Ukraine, assured on Wednesday that the Kremlin is also facing a decline in gas exports. These sanctions will have negative effects for Europe, for us and for the entire global energy market. But there is a redirect (export) that will allow us to minimize the negative consequences.”Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Russian diplomacy also considered that only Kyiv and the West could act to allow the export of Ukrainian and Russian grains hindered by the war and fueling the risk of a world food crisis. “Western countries that are creating tons of man-made problems by closing their ports to Russian ships, cutting logistical and financial chains, should consider what is most important,” he said.Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said:
► Washington increases military aid
Delivery of new US weapons to Ukraine, including multiple rocket launchers, “It increases the risk” Moscow warned on Wednesday that there would be a military confrontation between the United States and Russia. “Any continued, increased arms shipment increases the risk of such a development.”Said the Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia.
This announcement comes after the United States announced on Tuesday (May 31st) that it will supply Ukraine with advanced multiple rocket launcher systems. Demanding its weapons, Kyiv assured them that they would not be used to strike Russian soil.
A senior White House official explained that it was Himars (High-Motion Artillery Rocket System), i.e. multiple rocket launchers mounted on light armor. He stated that this equipment, whose number is not specified, will have a range of approximately 80 kilometers.
This equipment is part of a new and broader component of US military assistance to Ukraine exceeding €650m, details of which will be released Wednesday (June 1st).
► kyiv wants Macron to visit France before EU presidency ends
Dmytro Kouleba, head of Ukrainian diplomacy, hoped on Tuesday that President Emmanuel Macron, who has not been to Ukraine since the beginning of the conflict, will visit Kiev before the end of France’s EU presidency on June 30.
→ READ AGAIN. Ukraine: French Foreign Minister to meet Zelensky in Kiev
“Anytime is welcome. It would be good for Emmanuel Macron to come during France’s EU presidency and it would be best for him to come to Ukraine with other arms deliveries, here is the most valuable help we can get from France.”He said in an interview with LCI.