The governor of the Lugansk region said Wednesday that Ukrainian forces may have to withdraw from the strategic city of Severodonetsk in eastern Ukraine, which is “bombing 24 hours a day” towards more fortified positions.
Sergei Gaidai told the “1 + 1” network that “it may be necessary to withdraw”, while the Russians partially took control of the city a few days ago.
This comes as the Russian Defense announced that Ukrainian forces are placing armored vehicles, missile launchers and American M777 aircraft in the grain and grain silos of the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions, and firing from them towards the territory of Russia.
The head of the Russian Defense Monitoring Center explained that the purpose of these measures is to provoke a fiery response, thus accusing Russian forces of carrying out indiscriminate strikes on civilian infrastructure and endangering Ukraine’s food security.
Volunteers in Severodonetsk
The two warring parties accuse each other of destroying wheat resources, thus exacerbating the global food crisis.
On Tuesday evening, the Ukrainian Southern Front Operations Command condemned “those who claim to be concerned about the global food crisis and in fact hit agricultural fields and agricultural infrastructure where widespread fires are erupting,” referring to Russian bombing raids nearby. . of Mykolaiv (south).
At the same time, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that Ukrainian forces “deliberately set fire to a large grain warehouse” in the port of Mariupol.
“More than 50,000 tons of grain were destroyed,” said Russian General Mikhail Mezintsev, accusing the Kiev regime of carrying out “food terrorism against its people.”
On the ground, fierce battles continued Wednesday to control Severodonetsk, which Moscow claims had “liberated” its residential areas, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised the “heroic” defense of this large city in Donbas.
The Russians claim to have “completely liberated” the inhabited areas of this strategic city to control the entire Dubnas basin, rich in coal mines, in eastern Ukraine. “Control of its industrial zone and neighboring cities continues,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told a rare television conference Tuesday.
But Kiev denied this. “They do not control the city,” said Sergei Gaidai, governor of the Lugansk region, who together with Donetsk forms the Donbass basin in the Telegram app, but admitted that “it is very difficult to keep Severodonetsk” and even spoke of a “mission Impossible”.
“The enemy, the Russian army, has mobilized all forces and all precautions to cut off the main road between Lysekhansk-Bakhmut to take Severodonetsk. They are bombing Lyschansk very violently,” Gaidai said.
“A vital need for weapons”
Severodonetsk and Lysichansk, separated by another river, are the last two cities still under Ukrainian control in the Lugansk region. Their fall will pave the way for the Russians to Kramatorsk, the largest city in the Donetsk region.
For his part, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stressed in his daily video speech on Tuesday evening that “there has been no significant change on the front in the last 24 hours” and that “the heroic defense of Donbas continues.”
Therefore, Gaidai said Ukrainian soldiers “have a vital need for heavy weapons that can withstand enemy artillery”, calling for “Western artillery”.
Kiev claims to have inflicted heavy losses on its invaders. Zelensky said Tuesday night that “more than 31,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in Ukraine.”
“Since February 24, Russia has paid the price for this absurd war with the lives of its 300 soldiers every day,” he added. He predicted that “the day will come when the number of dead and wounded for Russia will become unacceptable.”
meeting in Ankara
Establishing safe sea lanes for grain exports across the Black Sea will be the focus of discussions in Ankara on Wednesday between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.
On Tuesday, Lavrov arrived in Turkey to discuss the possibility of Ukraine exporting its stale products to its ports, leading to rising prices for these materials and threatening several countries in Africa and the Middle East with famine. .
At the request of the United Nations, Turkey offered its assistance to escort convoys from Ukrainian ports, despite the presence of mines, a number of which were discovered off the Turkish coast.
Ukrainian media confirmed that the “United Nations and Ukraine” would take part in the talks on Wednesday, but the Ukrainian embassy in Ankara denied any contact between Ambassador Vasyl Bodnar and Lavrov.
Authorities in Ukraine’s Zaporizhia region announce a referendum on joining Russia
In a new development, the Sputnik news agency reported on Wednesday that authorities in the Ukrainian region of Zaporizhia announced the holding of a referendum to join Russia.
“In the Zaporizhia region, the first batch of Russian passports will be ready for issuance on June 12, at least 500 people will receive them,” authorities said in a statement.
Vladimir Rogov, a member of the Military-Civil Administration of the Zaporizhia region, told Sputnik that the first set of passports of citizens of the Russian Federation is ready for issuance in the region and will be handed over on Russia Day.