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Ukrainian president says his troops keep defying predictions

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said no one knows how long the war will last in his country, but that Ukrainian forces are defying expectations by preventing Russian troops from invading eastern Ukraine, where fighting has been fiercest for weeks. In his nightly video, Zelenskyi said. he was proud that Ukrainian defenders had succeeded in halting Russian advance in the Donbas region, which borders Russia and where Moscow-backed separatists had controlled much of the territory for eight years. “Remember how in Russia, in early May, they were hoping to seize all of the Donbas?” The president said in the last hour of Saturday. “It’s the 108th day of the war, already June. After failing to capture Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, at the start of the war, Moscow focused on seizing parts of the largely Russian-speaking parts of the Donbas, which are still in Ukrainian hands, as well as the southern coast of the country. But instead of achieving a quick and decisive takeover, Russian forces have been drawn into a long and arduous battle, thanks in part to the use of Western-supplied weapons by the Ukrainian army. Both the Ukrainian and Russian authorities said that Sievierodonetsk, an eastern city with a pre-war population. of 100,000, was in dispute. The town and neighboring Lysychansk are the last large areas in the Lugansk province of Donbas which are not under the control of pro-Russian rebels. Leonid Pasechnik, the head of the separatist People’s Republic of Lugansk, said the Ukrainian fighters remained in an industrial zone “Sievierodonetsk is not 100% completely liberated,” Pasechnik said on Saturday, claiming that Ukrainians had been bombing the city since the Nitrogen plant. “So it is impossible. Rest assured the situation in Sievierodonetsk, which is completely ours.” Kherson region they took at the start of the war, according to Zelenskyy. Moscow has installed local authorities in Kherson and other occupied coastal areas, offering Ru residents Sian passports, broadcasting Russian news, and taking steps to introduce a Russian school curriculum. Zelenskyy said that while the end of the war was not in sight, Ukraine should do everything possible to make the Russians “regret everything they did and that the Ukrainian leader said that Russia had suffered about three times more military casualties than the estimated number to the Ukrainian side, and added: “For what? What brought you, Russia? “There are no reliable independent estimates of the number of dead in the war so far. At a defense conference in Singapore on Sunday, Chinese Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe said Beijing continues to support talks peace talks between Russia and Ukraine and hopes that the United States and its NATO Allies hold talks with Russia “to create the conditions for an early ceasefire”. “Growing China-Russia relations is a partnership, not an alliance,” Wei said. Washington said in its latest assessment that Ukrainian intelligence had suggested that the Russian military planned to “fight a longer war.” its war schedule until October, with adjustments to be made based on successes in the Donbas. “It cannot achieve its goals in Ukraine quickly, and it is further adjusting its military targets in an attempt to correct the initial shortcomings in the invasion of Ukraine,” said the think tank. The ambassador of the Lugansk People’s Republic of Russia, Rodion Miroshnik, On Saturday, 300 to 400 Ukrainian troops remained trapped inside the Sievierodonetsk chemical plant along with several hundred civilians, and the Russians have contacted Ukrainian troops to arrange for the evacuation of civilians, but troops will only be able to leave if they lay down their weapons and Miroshnik said that similar conditions existed for weeks in a steel mill in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, before a civilian evacuation was organized and Ukrainian military commanders ordered the defending troops to withdraw. Pasechnik, the separatist leader of the unrecognized republic of Lugansk, has been taken prisoner by Mariupol. that the Ukrainians who put themselves in Sievierodonetsk should be saved. “If I were them, I would. I’ll make a decision (to surrender),” he said. “It simply came to our notice then. We will liberate the industrial zone in any case. In any case, we will liberate Sievierodonetsk. Lysychansk will be ours anyway. ”___ David Rising contributed from Bangkok.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said no one knows how long the war will last in his country, but that Ukrainian forces are defying expectations by preventing Russian troops from invading eastern Ukraine, where fighting is heaviest for weeks.

In his nightly video, Zelenskyy said he was proud that Ukrainian defenders had managed to stop Russian advance in the Donbass region, which borders Russia and where Moscow-backed separatists had controlled much of the territory for eight years.

“Remember how in Russia, in early May, they hoped to seize all of the Donbas?” said the president late Saturday. “It simply came to our notice then. Donbas is holding on. “

After failing to capture Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, at the start of the war, Moscow focused on seizing parts of the largely Russian-speaking Donbas, still in Ukrainian hands, as well as the southern coast of the country. But instead of a quick and decisive takeover, Russian forces were drawn into a long and arduous battle, thanks in part to the use of Western-supplied weapons by the Ukrainian army.

Both the Ukrainian and Russian authorities said that Sievierodonetsk, an eastern city with a population of 100,000 before the war, was still in dispute. The town and neighboring Lysychansk are the last large areas of the Lugansk province of Donbas that are not under the control of pro-Russian rebels.

Leonid Pasechnik, the head of the Lugansk People’s Republic, declared by the separatist, said Ukrainian fighters remained in an industrial area of ​​the city, including a chemical plant where civilians took refuge from days of Russian bombing.

“Sievierodonetsk is not 100% completely liberated,” Pasechnik said on Saturday, claiming that the Ukrainians were bombing the city from the Azot plant. “So it is impossible to call calm the situation in Sievierodonetsk, which is completely ours.”

Luhansk Governor Serhii Haidai reported on Saturday that a large fire broke out at the plant during hours of Russian bombing.

Elsewhere in Ukraine, a counter-offensive expelled Russians from parts of the southern Kherson region they had taken at the start of the war, according to Zelenskyy. Moscow has set up local authorities in Kherson and other occupied coastal areas, offering residents Russian passports, broadcasting Russian news, and taking steps to introduce a Russian school curriculum.

Zelenskyy said that while the end of the war was not in sight, Ukraine should do everything possible to make the Russians “repent of everything they have done and be held accountable for every murder and every attack on our beautiful state.”

The Ukrainian leader said that Russia had suffered about three times more military casualties than the estimated number for the Ukrainian side, and added: “For what? What have you achieved, Russia?” There are no reliable independent estimates of the number of war dead so far.

At a defense conference in Singapore on Sunday, Chinese Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe said Beijing continues to support peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, and hopes that the United States and its NATO allies will hold talks with Russia. ” to create the conditions for an early ceasefire “. ”.

“China will continue to play a constructive role and contribute to our efforts to ease tensions and achieve a political solution to the crisis,” Wei said.

He suggested that the arms-supplying nations of Ukraine were obstructing peace by “adding fuel to the fire” and stressed that China had not provided any material support to Russia during the war.

“The growth of China-Russia relations is a partnership, not an alliance,” Wei said.

The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, said in its latest assessment that Ukrainian intelligence had suggested that the Russian military planned to “fight a longer war.”

The institute quoted the deputy head of the National Security Agency of Ukraine as saying that Moscow had extended its war period until October, with adjustments to be made based on successes in the Donbas.

The intelligence “probably indicates that the Kremlin has at least acknowledged that it cannot achieve its goals in Ukraine quickly and that it is further adjusting its military targets in an attempt to correct the initial shortcomings in the invasion of Ukraine,” the group said. of experts.

Lugansk People’s Republic Ambassador to Russia Rodion Miroshnik said on Saturday that between 300 and 400 Ukrainian soldiers were still trapped inside the Sievierodonetsk chemical plant along with several hundred civilians.

The Russians have been in contact with Ukrainian troops to arrange for the evacuation of civilians, but troops will only be able to leave if they lay down their arms and surrender, Miroshnik said.

Similar conditions existed for weeks at a steel plant in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol before a civilian evacuation was organized and Ukrainian military commanders ordered the withdrawal of defending troops. The fighters who left the Mariupol plant were taken prisoner by the Russians.

Pasechnik, the separatist leader of the unrecognized Lugansk republic, said Ukrainians taking a stand in Sievierodonetsk should be saved.

“If I were them, I would have already made the decision (to surrender),” he said. “It simply came to our notice then. We will liberate the industrial zone in any case. In any case, we will liberate Sievierodonetsk. In any case, Lysychansk will be ours. “

___

David Rising contributed from Bangkok.

Ukrainian president says his troops keep defying predictions Source link Ukrainian president says his troops keep defying predictions

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