The Ukrainian army abandoned the center of Severodonetsk to the Russians

KRAMATORSK: The Ukrainian army announced on Monday morning that it had abandoned the center of Severodonetsk following a new Russian offensive against this main city in eastern Ukraine, which the two have been fighting for weeks.

“With the support of artillery, the enemy carried out an attack on Severodonetsk, achieved partial victory and pushed our units back from the city center. The fighting continues,” the Ukrainian General Staff said in its update. morning posted on Facebook.

Sergei Gaïdaï, governor of the Lugansk region – where Severodonetsk is the administrative center for the part controlled by Ukrainian authorities – confirmed that Ukrainian forces had been pushed back from the city center.

“Street fights continue (…) Russians continue to destroy the city”, he wrote Monday morning on Facebook, posting pictures of buildings damaged or on fire.

Mr. Gaïdaï warned on Sunday that the situation was becoming “extremely difficult” in Severodonetsk for the city’s defenders.

“The enemy wants to completely isolate Severodonetsk by preventing any passage of people or ammunition,” he said, saying he feared Russia would send “all its reserves to take the city” within 48 hours. .

“Cannon fodder”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in his evening video message, on Sunday called the latest fighting in Severodonetsk “very violent”, saying Moscow is deploying troops who are not adequately trained and using them as “cannon fodder “.

Taking over this city will open the way to another major city, Kramatorsk, in Moscow, a stage to occupy the entire Donbass basin, a predominantly Russian-speaking region partially held by pro-Russian separatists since 2014.

At the diplomatic level, after committing to kyiv a day before a response “by the end of next week” to Ukraine’s request to begin a process of joining the European Union, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, was acknowledged on Sunday that “the challenge (is) to emerge in the European Council (scheduled for June 23 and 24) with a unanimous position that reflects the seriousness of these historic decisions”.

For their part, the Member States of the World Trade Organization (WTO) met on Sunday in Geneva with the specific aim of helping find a solution to the risk of a serious food crisis that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which the fertile lands are traditional. feed hundreds of millions of people on the planet.

Tensions erupted at a closed-door meeting where delegates came forward to condemn the Russian aggression. The Ukrainian delegate, who also spoke, was greeted with a standing ovation, according to WTO spokesman Dan Pruzin.

Then, before Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Rechetnikov climbed to the floor, about 30 delegates “left the room,” Pruzin said.

The sanctions imposed on Moscow did not prevent Russia from reaping 93 billion euros in revenue from the export of fossil fuels in the first 100 days of the war, most of which went to the EU, according to the report. an independent research center published Monday.

Cluster bombs

On Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry said it broke into Chortkiv, in an extraordinary strike in western Ukraine, “a large warehouse of anti-tank missile systems, man-portable air defense systems and shells supplied to the U.S. kyiv regime States and European Countries “.

The strike in this town, located 140 km from the Romanian border, left 22 injured, according to the governor of this region.

In Mikolaiv, a major port at the mouth of the Dnieper in the south, Russia’s advance has been halted outside the city, fighting is turning into trench warfare and authorities are conducting a measure of infrastructure bombing, according to a group of journalists. of the AFP at the site.

There, the Ukrainian army dug trenches facing the Russians. “The Russians are bluffing. Many of them, they have a lot of weapons, old and new, but they are not soldiers,” Serguiy, 54, a Ukrainian brigade captain, said on Sunday as his comrades in arms fired. towards enemy positions.

On Monday, Amnesty International accused Russia of war crimes in Ukraine, saying hundreds of civilians had died in relentless attacks in Kharkiv, many done using cluster bombs.

After an in-depth investigation, the human rights NGO claimed to have found evidence showing that in seven attacks on neighborhoods in Ukraine’s second largest city in the country’s northeast, Russian forces used 9N210 and 9N235 cluster munitions and cluster munitions, two categories are prohibited. through international agreements.

Ukrainian justice has opened more than 12,000 investigations into war crimes in the country since Russia’s aggression began, according to the prosecution.

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