Ukraine’s Zelensky visits southern entrance as battles rage

Officials say Lysychansk — a Ukrainian-controlled metropolis throughout a river from battered Severodonetsk — is below heavy assault

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the war-torn southern frontline on Saturday for the primary time for the reason that Russian invasion as “fierce battles” raged once more within the jap Donbas area.

Making a uncommon journey exterior Kyiv the place he’s based mostly for safety causes, Zelensky travelled to the hold-out Black Sea metropolis of Mykolaiv and visited troops close by and within the neighbouring Odessa area.

“It is important that you are alive. As long as you live there is a strong Ukrainian wall that protects our country,” Zelensky informed troopers within the Odessa area. 

Mykolaiv is a key goal for Russia because it lies on the way in which to the strategic Black Sea port of Odessa. It is round 100 kilometres (62 miles) northwest of Kherson, which fell to Russia within the first weeks of the conflict.

– ‘Abandoning the whole lot’ –

Zelensky has appealed for western help and weapons to push out Russian forces, and received a lift on Friday when the European Commission backed it for EU candidate standing.

Full membership might take years however the bloc’s 27 leaders might add Ukraine to the listing of nations vying for membership as early as a summit subsequent week.

The worst of the bloodshed continues to be within the jap industrial Donbas area, with battles raging in villages exterior the town of Severodonetsk, which Russia has been making an attempt to grab for weeks.  

Gaiday mentioned there was “more destruction” on the besieged Azot chemical plant in Severodonetsk, the place he mentioned 568 individuals have been sheltering, together with 38 youngsters.

Lysychansk residents have been getting ready to be evacuated. 

Pro-Russian officers within the jap, separatist-held metropolis of Donetsk mentioned 5 civilians have been killed and 12 injured by Ukrainian bombardment.

Moscow has warned in opposition to exterior involvement in its ex-Soviet neighbour, saying it invaded to “de-nazify and de-militarise” a rustic that was getting too near the West.

But he mentioned EU membership would flip Ukraine right into a “semi-colony” of the West.

Russian state tv aired social media movies of two US army veterans who went lacking final week whereas preventing alongside the Ukrainian military, stating that they had been captured by Russian forces.

Ukrainian civilian volunteers nonetheless proceed to enroll, with a gaggle performing army workout routines on Friday in fortified positions left by Russian troops in Bucha, a city synonymous with conflict crimes blamed on Moscow’s forces.

Soldiers in Mykolaiv in the meantime try to maintain their pre-war routines alive, with one saying he won’t quit his vegan eating regimen on the frontlines.

“There was pate and vegan sausages, hummus, soya milk… and all this for free,” the 37-year-old drama trainer mentioned fortunately.

Kyiv condemned a call by organisers to maneuver the 2023 model of the world’s largest reside music occasion on safety grounds, probably to Britain.

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