Volodymyr Zelensky recognizes a “very difficult situation” in the Donbass

Volodymyr Zelensky recognizes a

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The context

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Cover image: Anna Poladyuk, 66, takes shelter at the entrance to a cellar as mortar fire hits the surroundings, in Sievierodonetsk on May 18, 2022. YASUYOSHI CHIBA / AFP

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  • The Russian army advances in the Donbass, where the strikes are permanent. The Territorial Defense Staff of the self-proclaimed ” Republic ” pro-Russian separatist from Donetsk claimed to have taken the “full control” of the town of Lyman with “support” of the Russian armed forces, Friday, May 27. Neither the Ukrainian army nor the Russian army reacted to this announcement but the capture of this city, an important railway hub, would open the road to the Russians towards the regional centers of Sloviansk, then Kramatorsk, while contributing to the encirclement of the agglomeration formed by the towns of Sievierodonetsk and Lyssytchansk, further east.
  • After several weeks of shelling Sievierodonetsk, the encirclement of the city seems close to being completed. A police official in the pro-Russian separatist republic of Luhansk said on Friday that the city was surrounded and that Ukrainian troops had lost all possibility of getting out. The head of the city’s Ukrainian administration, Oleksandr Striouk, however, denied a total encirclement, while acknowledging a situation ” very difficult “. “Nearly two-thirds of the perimeter of the city is occupied by the enemy, but it is not surrounded”, he specified. Between 12,000 and 13,000 residents are believed to still be in the city.
  • Ukrainian towns are bombed outside the Donbass. Russian missiles on Friday targeted a military installation in the large city of Dnipro, in central-eastern Ukraine, on the Dnieper River, according to local authorities. “We deplore a dozen dead and between 30 and 35 injured”said Gennadi Korban, responsible for the defense of the city, implying that the victims were all soldiers.
  • As Russian forces advance and cities like Kharkiv are shelled, Ukraine needs new weapons, Boris Johnson says. The British Prime Minister pleaded for the West to deliver MLRS (M-270 MLRS, for Multiple Launch Rocket System, “multiple rocket launcher”) to Ukraine. These weapons would allow Ukraine to “defend against Russian artillery”, especially since the forces of Moscow “continue to gain ground” in the Donbass region, making “slow progress but (…) palpable”. The Ukrainian authorities are constantly asking for this type of weapon.
  • The cost of damage to Ukrainian infrastructure would be of the order of “90 billion to 100 billion dollars”, according to Alexander Kubrakov, Ukrainian infrastructure minister. At the Davos forum, the Swiss president, Ignazio Cassis, announced that his country would organize, on July 4 and 5, a “Ukrainian Reconstruction Conference”which should address in particular the issue of pledged and future contributions from the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Union (EU).
  • The Ukrainian Orthodox Church, hitherto attached to the Moscow Patriarchate, has announced that it is breaking with Russia. “We do not agree with the Moscow Patriarch Kirill (…) regarding the war in Ukraine »explained in a press release this Orthodox Church, at the end of a council devoted to “aggression” against Ukraine, which pronounced “full independence and autonomy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church”.
  • Ukrainian war wounded treated in France. kyiv thanked France for hosting “Ukrainian war wounded in its hospitals, particularly in army hospitals”, according to a press release published on Wednesday evening by the French Ministry of the Armed Forces. The first two Ukrainian soldiers were received at the Percy military hospital, in the Paris region, the French minister’s office told Agence France-Presse.

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