Russia-Ukraine war: Russia claims capture of strategic town as fighting rages in east – live | Ukraine


Russia claims capture of Lyman

Russian forces are now in full control of the town of Lyman in eastern Ukraine, the Russian defence ministry has claimed.

Yesterday, Ukraine reported Russia had captured most of Lyman but that its forces were blocking an advance to Sloviansk, a city a half-hour drive further southwest.

Ukrainian and Russian forces had been fighting for Lyman for several days.

Earlier, the UK warned that control of the town would give Russia “an advantage in the potential next phase of the Donbas offensive, when it will likely seek to advance on key Ukrainian-held cities deeper in Donetsk Oblast, Sloviansk and Kramatorsk”.

Ukraine has started receiving Harpoon anti-ship missiles from Denmark and self-propelled howitzers from the US, Ukrainian defence minister Oleksiy Reznikov has said.

“The coastal defence of our country will not only be strengthened by Harpoon missiles they will be used by trained Ukrainian teams,” Reznikov wrote on his Facebook page.

He said Harpoon shore-to-ship missiles would be operated alongside Ukrainian Neptune missiles in the defence of the country’s coast including the southern port of Odesa.

Reznikov said the supplies of Harpoon missiles were the result of cooperation between several countries, saying the deliveries from Denmark took place “with the participation of our British friends”.

Ukraine has also received a range of heavy artillery pieces, he said, including modified US-made M109 self-propelled howitzers that will allow the Ukrainian military to strike targets from longer distances.

In a daily update, Russia’s defence ministry said it had used missile strikes to destroy Ukrainian command posts in Bakhmut and Soledar.

Both towns lie on a strategically important road running southwest from Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk, where the main Russian offensive is now concentrated.

Reuters reports that the ministry said it had destroyed five command and observation posts, hit areas where Ukrainian soldiers and equipment were located and destroyed four ammunition depots near the towns of Nyrkove, Bakhmut and Myronivka.

The Guardian could not independently confirm the Russian claims.

A ship has entered the Ukrainian port of Mariupol for the first time since Russia completed its capture of the city to load metal and ship it east to Russia in a move Kyiv branded as “looting”.

A spokesperson for the port told Tass news agency the vessel would be loading 2,700 tonnes of metal before travelling 160km (100 miles) east to the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don on Monday.

The spokesperson did not say where the metal being shipped had been produced, Reuters reports.

Writing on the Telegram messaging app Ukraine’s human rights ombudsman Lyudmyla Denisova said the shipment amounted to looting by Russia:

Looting in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine continue.

Following the theft of Ukrainian grain, the occupiers resorted to exporting metal products from Mariupol.

On Friday, Ukraine’s largest steelmaker Metinvest said it was concerned that Russia may use several ships stranded in Mariupol to “steal and smuggle metallurgical products” belonging to the group. It accused Russia of piracy.

Asked on Saturday whether the metal due to be shipped out belonged to Metinvest, a company spokesman said: “We said yesterday that our metal is in the port of Mariupol, yes.”

Russia seized full control of Mariupol last week when more than 2,400 Ukrainian fighters surrendered at the besieged Azovstal steelworks. It said on Thursday that the port had been demined and was open again to commercial vessels.

Russia claims capture of Lyman

Russian forces are now in full control of the town of Lyman in eastern Ukraine, the Russian defence ministry has claimed.

Yesterday, Ukraine reported Russia had captured most of Lyman but that its forces were blocking an advance to Sloviansk, a city a half-hour drive further southwest.

Ukrainian and Russian forces had been fighting for Lyman for several days.

Earlier, the UK warned that control of the town would give Russia “an advantage in the potential next phase of the Donbas offensive, when it will likely seek to advance on key Ukrainian-held cities deeper in Donetsk Oblast, Sloviansk and Kramatorsk”.

Russia successfully test-fired a hypersonic Zircon cruise missile over a distance of about 1,000km (625 miles), its defence ministry said today.

The missile was fired from the Barents Sea and hit a target in the White Sea, it said.

Video released by the ministry showed the missile being fired from a ship and blazing into the sky on a steep trajectory, Reuters reports.

President Vladimir Putin has described the Zircon as part of a new generation of unrivalled arms systems.

Russia has conducted previous test launches of the Zircon from warships and submarines in the past year.

Last month it test-launched a new nuclear-capable intercontinental missile, the Sarmat, capable of carrying 10 or more warheads.

The Kyiv Independent has tweeted some statistics regarding Russia’s losses, according to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The Guardian has not been able to verify these figures.

Official Russian sources are claiming fewer losses.

These are the indicative estimates of Russia’s combat losses as of May 28, according to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/amu2h8CKK8

— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) May 28, 2022

A woman is carried from her home in an evacuation by volunteers of Vostok SOS in Bakhmut, eastern Ukraine on 27 May.
A woman is carried from her home in an evacuation by volunteers of Vostok SOS in Bakhmut, eastern Ukraine on 27 May. Photograph: Francisco Seco/AP

The Associated Press reports on the evacuation effort in Bakhmut, eastern Ukraine.

It quotes Mark Poppert, an American volunteer working with the British charity RefugEase.

“The Russians are right over there, and they’re closing in on this location,” he said during an evacuation on Friday.

“Bakhmut is a high-risk area right now,” he said. “We’re trying to get as many people out as we can in case the Ukrainians have to fall back.”

Bakhmut is in the Donetsk region in Ukraine’s industrial east. Donetsk and the neighbouring region of Luhansk makes up the Donbas, where Moscow-backed separatists have controlled some territory for eight years.

Poppert and other Ukrainian and foreign volunteers working with the Ukrainian charity Vostok SOS, which was coordinating the evacuation effort, were hoping to get about 100 people out of Bakhmut on Friday, Poppert said.

Many of the evacuees are elderly, ill or have serious mobility problems, meaning volunteers have to slowly negotiate their way through narrow corridors and down flights of stairs in apartment buildings.

A woman is carried from her home during the evacuation in Bakhmut, on 27 May.
A woman is carried from her home during the evacuation in Bakhmut, on 27 May. Photograph: Francisco Seco/AP

Most people have already fled Bakhmut: only around 30,000 remain from a pre-war population of 85,000. And more are leaving each day.

However, some want to stay.

Svetlana Lvova, the 66-year-old manager for two apartment buildings in Bakhmut, reflected on the latest resident who had refused to leave.

“I can’t convince them to go,” she said. “I told them several times if something lands here, I will be carrying them — injured — to the same buses” that have come to evacuate them now.”

Ukrainian presidential adviser and peace talks negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak has said any agreement with Russia cannot be trusted and Moscow’s invasion can only be stopped by force, Reuters reports.

Podolyak wrote on the Telegram messaging app:

Any agreement with Russia isn’t worth a broken penny.

Is it possible to negotiate with a country that always lies cynically and propagandistically?”

He added:

Russia has proved that it is a barbarian country that threatens world security. A barbarian can only be stopped by force.

Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other after peace talks stalled, with the last known face-to-face negotiations on 29 March.

The Kremlin said earlier this month that Ukraine was showing no willingness to continue peace talks, while officials in Kyiv blamed Russia for the lack of progress.

On Monday, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said that President Vladimir Putin was the only Russian official he was willing to meet with to discuss how to end the war.

Ukraine’s armed forces claim to have killed more than 30,000 Russian soldiers since the war began. The armed forces’ and government released the figures on their social media accounts, after 94 days of fighting. The Guardian has not independently verified them.

It also claimed to have destroyed at least 207 Russian aircraft, 180 helicopters, more than 1,330 tanks, about 3,300 APVs, 13 military boats, 93 anti aircraft systems and 200 multiple launch rocket systems, as well as thousands of other vehicles and fuel tanks, drones and artillery systems.

The governor of Ukraine’s Luhansk region, Serhiy Gaidai, has said that there are some 10,000 Russian troops in the eastern region, Reuters report, adding it could not independently verify the claim.

“These are the (units) that are permanently in Luhansk region, that are trying to assault and are attempting to make gains in any direction they can,” Gaidai said on Ukrainian television.

Russia captures most of town in east, says UK

Russian forces have likely captured most of the town of Lyman, in a likely preliminary operation for the next stage of their offensive Donbas, the UK ministry of defence has said.

In its latest update, the ministry said Lyman was a strategically important railway junction and access point to important rail and road bridges over the Siverskyy Donets river.

“In the coming days, Russian units in the area are likely to prioritise forcing a crossing of the river. For now, Russia’s main effort likely remains 40 km to the east, around the Sieverodonetsk pocket but a bridgehead near Lyman would give Russia an advantage in the potential next phase of the Donbas offensive, when it will likely seek to advance on key Ukrainian-held cities deeper in Donetsk Oblast, Sloviansk and Kramatorsk,” it said.

On Thursday, Denis Pushilin, the head of the Russian-controlled territory of Donetsk, said if Russia captured the whole of Donetsk and Luhansk, a referendum would be held.

An interesting interview with retired Major John Spencer, chair of the urban warfare studies at Madison Policy Forum. He told the BBC that Russia has some momentum in the east, but Ukrainians had the ability to stop them moving forwards if they could get more western weapons.

Asked if Ukrainian forces can keep putting up a fight, given the depletion of resources and exhaustion of troops, Spencers says he thinks so.

“They still have what Russia doesn’t – the will to fight, they’re fighting for their country. Many in Russia still struggle with morale and cohesion because they’re not sure what they’re fighting for”.

On rumours the US will give Ukraine longer range weapons systems, he said this would be “critical lifeblood to keep Ukraine from losing more and more of eastern Donbas.”

Donbas will be Ukrainian, says Zelenskiy

Hello, and welcome to our continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine. Here is a quick summary of the latest developments. Much of the focus is on the east, where the situation appears bleak in the besieged city of Sievierodonetsk – the largest in Donbas still held by Ukraine.

Luhansk’s governor, Serhiy Haidai, saying Ukrainian forces may need to retreat after Russian troops entered the city, Peter Beaumont and Isobel Koshiw report.

“The Russians will not be able to capture Luhansk region in the coming days as analysts have predicted,” Haidai said on Telegram, referring to Sievierodonetsk and its twin city Lysychansk across the Siverskiy Donets river. “We will have enough strength and resources to defend ourselves. However it is possible that in order not to be surrounded we will have to retreat.”

Haidai said 90% of buildings in the city were damaged.

The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, accepted the situation in Donhas was “very difficult”, saying in a Friday night address that invading forces “have concentrated maximum artillery, maximum reserves” to the region.

“There are missiles strikes and aircraft attacks – everything,” he said. “We are protecting our land in the way that our current defence resources allow. We are doing everything to increase them. And we will increase them.

“If the occupiers think that Lyman or Sievierodonetsk will be theirs, they are wrong. Donbas will be Ukrainian.”

  • The Austrian chancellor, Karl Nehammer, has stated that in talks with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president indicated he was “prepared to discuss a prisoner swap with Ukraine”.
  • Independent news source Meduza has reported that officials close to the Kremlin have said Russia is “planning full-scale victory in Ukraine by autumn” and may again try to take the capital city of Kyiv.
  • The governor of Ukraine’s eastern region of Luhansk stated that Ukrainian forces may be forced to retreat from the zone to avoid being captured.
  • A Nato defence ministry meeting to discuss the war will next take place on 15 and 16 June, reports Nexta.
  • New UN figures have revealed that 4,031 civilians have died since Russia first invaded Ukraine in February, including 261 children.
  • US president Joe Biden accused Vladimir Putin of attempting to “wipe out” Ukrainian culture and identity during a speech today, reports the Washington Post.
  • A new report by more than 30 internationally recognised legal scholars and experts says Russia is guilty of inciting genocide and having the intent to commit genocide in Ukraine, legally obliging other countries to stop it.
  • The US is expected to send long-range rocket systems to Ukraine that could be announced as early as next week, reports CNN.
  • Officials in Ukraine – including President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in his nightly address on Fridayhave appealed for additional assistance from the west as the Donbas region faces “an obvious policy of genocide” from Russian forces there.





Source link

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.