The ukrainian president Volodymgo Zelensky reported that Moscow’s air and artillery strikes are aimed at destroy the entire Donbás regionand urged the allies of Ukraine to speed up the shipment of heavy weapons to match Russia on the battlefield.
The fight for the twin cities of Severodonetsk Y Lysychansk in the Ukrainian region of Luhansk is “entering a sort of fearsome climax,” he said. Oleksiy Arestovych, Zelensky adviser. Russia tries to capture both Luhansk and Donetsk, which make up the Donbass region, the country’s industrial heartland.
On the diplomatic front, European leaders will formally launch Ukraine’s long road towards accession to the European Union at a summit in Brussels. Though largely symbolic, the move will help boost morale after four months of bloody conflict that has killed thousands, displaced millions and destroyed cities.
“We must liberate our land and achieve victory, but faster, much faster,” Zelensky said in a video speech posted early Thursday, reiterating Ukrainian demands for bigger and faster weapons. “There were massive air and artillery attacks on the Donbás. The objective of the occupied here has not changed, he wants to destroy the entire Donbas step by step,” he added, Reuters replied.
“That is why we insist again and again on the acceleration of arms deliveries to Ukraine. What is needed quickly is parity on the battlefield to stop this diabolical army and push it beyond Ukraine’s borders.”
The fierce war of attrition on the Donbas reaches its most critical point in Severodonetsk and Lisichansk. Hundreds of civilians are trapped in a chemical plant in Severodonetsk, and Ukraine and Russia squabble over who controls the bombed-out city.
Moscow claims that Ukrainian forces in Severodonetsk, scene of the most intense recent fighting, are surrounded and trapped. Last week it was better for them to surrender or die. But Luhansk regional governor, Serhi Gaidaitold Ukrainian television on Wednesday that “the fighting results” and that “Russian forces are not in full control.”
In Lisychansk, the Tass news agency quoted Russian-backed separatists as saying that Ukrainians in the city are now surrounded and without supplies, following the seizure of a road connecting the city with the town of Sieviersk. Reuters could not immediately confirm this information.