the Russian noose is tightening on the Donbass, Volodymyr Zelensky recognizes “a very, very difficult situation”

the Russian noose is tightening on the Donbass, Volodymyr Zelensky recognizes
The situation on the map

The context

Live hosted by Charlotte Herzog

Cover image: Ukrainian firefighters try to put out the fire that broke out in a factory after the shelling of the town of Bakhmut, Donbass, on May 27, 2022. ARIS MESSINIS / AFP

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  • In the Donbass, the locality of Lyman would have passed under Russian control. The territorial defense of the self-proclaimed pro-Russian separatist republic of Donetsk (east) said on Friday (May 27th) via Telegram have “taken complete control” from the key locality of Lyman, with “support” of the Russian army. But neither Moscow nor kyiv confirmed this information, which could not be verified by an independent source.
  • “The Donbass will remain Ukrainian,” says Volodymyr Zelensky. “The situation in the Donbass is very, very difficult,” but “we protect our land and do everything to strengthen it” the defense of this region, said the Ukrainian president on Friday in his daily video intervention. “If the occupiers think that Lyman and Sievierodonetsk will soon be theirs, they are mistaken,” he added.
  • Under a deluge of fire, Sievierodonetsk seems about to be surrounded. A police official from the pro-Russian separatist republic of Luhansk, quoted by the Ria Novosti agency, said on Friday that “the city of Sievierodonetsk is currently surrounded” and that Ukrainian troops are trapped there. Information denied by the governor of Luhansk, Serguiï Gaïdaï, judging even erroneous to say that the region will fall under the “entire control of the enemy” russian in “one, two or three days”. But he admitted that, “to prevent the troops from being surrounded, there could be, perhaps, an order of withdrawal which is given to them”.
  • In the south of the country, the Kherson region was also shelled. Russian forces have massed 30 T-62 tanks, as well as other armored vehicles and Grad missile systems in the Kherson region (south), bombarded by Mi-8 helicopters, the southern command of the army said on Saturday. Ukrainian army on Facebook.
  • The Moscow branch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has cut ties with the Russian spiritual authorities, who support the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, a historic initiative. At the end of a council was pronounced “full independence and autonomy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church”according to a press release, which specifies that the relations of the Ukrainian Church with its Moscow leadership were “complicated or non-existent” since the beginning of the conflict. This is the second Orthodox schism in Ukraine in a few years. Part of the Ukrainian Church, represented by the kyiv Patriarchate, had already broken with Moscow in 2019 because of the Kremlin’s interference in the country. Ukraine is central for the Russian Orthodox Church, some of the most important monasteries of which are located in this country.
  • The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) calls on Russia to cooperate. Karim Khan calls on Russia to cooperate in the investigation, which he opened four days after the Russian invasion, into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine. Neither Russia nor Ukraine are members of the ICC, but Kyiv has accepted the court’s jurisdiction.
  • While Ukraine, a major agricultural power, can no longer export its cereals because of the blocking of its ports, Vladimir Putin rejected, Friday, any Russian responsibility in the world food crisis, during a telephone conversation with the Austrian Chancellor, Karl Nehammer, according to a press release from the Kremlin. On Thursday, the Russian president offered to help overcoming the food crisisprovided that Western sanctions against Moscow are first lifted, which has earned him accusations of blackmail.

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