Ukrainian army abandoned the center of Severodonetsk to the Russians

Ukrainian forces admitted on Monday that they had left the center of Severodonetsk after a new Russian attack on this important city in eastern Ukraine, where the two fighters had been fighting for weeks.

“With the support of artillery, the enemy attacked Severodonetsk, achieved partial success and pushed our troops back from the city centre. Clashes continue,” the Ukrainian General Staff said in an update on Facebook this morning. Sergei Gaïdaï, governor of the Lugansk region, of which Severodonetsk is the administrative center of the part controlled by the Ukrainian authorities, confirmed that Ukrainian forces had been pushed back from the centre.

“The street fighting continues…the Russians continue to destroy the city,” he wrote on Facebook, posting photos of the buildings destroyed by the flames. Pro-Russian separatists fighting the Russians in this region have claimed that the last Ukrainian divisions in Severodonetsk are now “blocked” after the last bridge to the neighboring town of Lysychansk was destroyed. “There are two possibilities (..), surrender or die,” said Edouard Bassourine, spokesman for the separatists. However, Mr. Gaïdaï refused any interference.

“Ball bait”

In a video message Sunday evening, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described the fighting in Severodonetsk as “very violent”, saying Moscow had deployed poorly trained soldiers and used them as “cannon fodder”. The capture of this city will give Moscow control of the Lugansk region and open the way to another major city, Kramatorsk, which is the capital of the neighboring Donetsk region. It’s an important step towards conquering the entire Donbass basin, a mostly Russian-speaking region that has been partially held by pro-Russian separatists since 2014.

According to Governor Gaïdaï, the Russian bombardments specifically targeted the Nitrogen chemical plant, which he said found nearly 500 civilian shelters, 40 of which were children, and hit sewage treatment plants in the city. “We are trying to negotiate a humanitarian corridor for civilians,” he said on his Telegram account, “so far without success.” Three civilians, including a six-year-old boy, have been killed in bombings in Lysytchansk in the past 24 hours.

Tension in the WTO

At the diplomatic level, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen acknowledged on Sunday that Twenty-Seven remained divided over the issue of granting Ukraine candidate status for EU membership. “The challenge (scheduled for 23 and 24 June) will be to exit the Council of Europe (scheduled for 23 and 24 June) with a unified position that reflects the enormity of these historic decisions,” he said, as the Commission needs to give a first opinion on the matter. problem by the end of the week.

World Trade Organization (WTO) Member States met in Geneva on Sunday in hopes that an invasion of Ukraine, whose fertile soil has traditionally fed hundreds of people, will help address the risk of a serious food crisis. millions of people around the world. Tensions arose at a closed meeting where delegates spoke to condemn Russian aggression.

According to WTO spokesman Dan Pruzin, the Ukrainian delegate was greeted with a standing ovation. Then, just before Russian Minister of Economic Development Maxim Rechetnikov took the floor, about 30 delegates “left the room” said. Western sanctions against Moscow did not prevent Russia from generating 93 billion euros in fossil fuel export revenue in the first 100 days of the war, most of it going to the EU, according to a report released Monday from an independent research centre.

cluster bombs

An AFP team noted that in Mikolaiv, a major port at the mouth of the Dnieper in the south, the Russian advance was halted on the outskirts of the city and the Ukrainian army was digging trenches against the Russians. “The Russians are bluffing. They have a lot of them, a lot of old and new weapons, but they are not soldiers,” 54-year-old Ukrainian brigade captain Serguiy said as he opened fire on his comrades on Sunday. enemy positions

In a report released on Monday, Amnesty International accused Russia of war crimes in Ukraine and said hundreds of civilians were killed in relentless attacks on Kharkov (northeast), particularly cluster munitions. After an in-depth investigation, the NGO said it found evidence of the use of 9N210 and 9N235 cluster munitions and mines, two categories prohibited by international treaties, in seven attacks by Russian forces on the neighborhoods of Ukraine’s second city.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Monday brought up the case regarding the enforced disappearance of 25-year-old Ukrainian teacher Viktoria Androucha, after Russian forces accused her of reporting him to the Ukrainian army. In a press release, HRW recalled that enforced disappearances are crimes against humanity, stating that Ms. Androucha, like other Ukrainian citizens, is currently imprisoned in Russia and her lawyer does not have access to her.

According to HRW, between February 24 and May 10, the UN documented “204 significant cases of enforced disappearances involving 169 men, 34 women and a boy, the vast majority attributed to Russian forces” and pro-Russian pro-Russian violence in Ukraine. According to the prosecutor’s office, Ukrainian justice has opened more than 12 thousand war crimes investigations in the country since the beginning of the Russian occupation. As negotiations between the warring stalemate, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s first head of government (2000-2004), Mikhail Kassianov, warned that there were other countries before the Kremlin chief’s eyes.

“If Ukraine falls, the Baltic states will be next,” his rival told AFP. He also said he “categorically” disagreed with the idea that we should avoid “humiliating” Vladimir Putin, as Emmanuel Macron has recently suggested. The French president on Monday called for a “reconsideration” of the 2019-2025 military programming law to “tune the tools for threats” against the background of the war in Ukraine. He said on Monday that France was “entering a war economy that I believe will organize ourselves in the long run”.

Ukrainian forces admitted on Monday that they had left the center of Severodonetsk after a new Russian offensive against this important city in eastern Ukraine, over which the two fighters had been fighting for weeks. “The enemy carried out an operation with the support of artillery. The attack on Severodonetsk was a partial success and our units…

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