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‘It’s just hell there’: Russia still lashes out at eastern Ukraine – Boston News, Weather, Sports

Kyiv, Ukraine (AP) – Russia’s military continued to wear down Ukraine’s defenses on Monday, with fighting in eastern areas reportedly entering a “crucial” phase the wars Consequences for Food and fuel stocks were increasingly weighing on minds around the globe.

In Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region, which has become the focus of Moscow’s attempts to impose its will on its neighbor in recent weeks, battles have raged for control of several villages, the local governor said.

Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine Hanna Maliar said the Kremlin had ordered the Russian military to overrun the entire Luhansk region by next Sunday. Currently, the Moscow Armed Forces control about 95% of the region.

Maliar said in TV comments that “without exaggeration, decisive battles are taking place” in the area, where Ukrainian forces are desperately trying to avoid encirclement.

“We must understand that the enemy has the advantage both in terms of personnel and weapons, so the situation is extremely difficult. And it is precisely at this moment that these crucial battles are taking place at maximum intensity,” added Maliar.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reiterated his plea for more western weapons to repel the Russian attack.

“We need your support, we need weapons, weapons that will have better capabilities than Russian weapons,” he told a forum in Milan organized by geopolitical think tank ISPI. He spoke via video link.

Zelenskyj added: “It is a matter of life and death.”

The villages where fierce fighting is taking place are centered around Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, two cities in the Luhansk region that Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai says has yet to be taken by the Russians.

Russian shelling and airstrikes on Sievarodonetsk’s industrial outskirts have increased, he said.

Haidai told The Associated Press on Monday the situation in Sievierodonetsk was “very difficult” as Ukrainian forces only had one area under control — the Azot chemical plant, where a number of Ukrainian militants are sheltering along with about 500 civilians.

The Russians continue to deploy additional troops and equipment in the area, he said.

“It’s just hell. Everything went up in flames, the shelling didn’t stop for even an hour,” Haidai said in written comments.

Only a fraction of the 100,000 people who lived in Seyerodonetsk before the war are still in the city, without electricity, communications, food or medicine.

Even so, Haidai said, the steadfast Ukrainian resistance is preventing Moscow from deploying its resources in other parts of the country.

The British Ministry of Defense noted that despite its superior military assets, the war is not going entirely to Russia.

Russian ground forces are “exhausted,” the Defense Ministry said in an intelligence report on Monday. It blamed poor air support for Russia’s difficulties in making faster advances on the ground.

Around the world, drivers are rethinking their habits and personal finances amid soaring gasoline and diesel prices fueled by Russia’s war in Ukraine and the global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Energy prices are a key driver of rising inflation worldwide and make the cost of living more expensive.

The European Union’s top diplomats met in Luxembourg on Monday for talks on Ukraine and food security.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has urged Russia to lift its blockades on Ukrainian ports to help ship the millions of tons of grain awaiting export.

“I hope – more than hope, I’m sure – that the United Nations will eventually reach an agreement,” Borrell said. “It is inconceivable, it is inconceivable, that millions of tons of wheat remain blocked in Ukraine while people in the rest of the world go hungry. This is a real war crime… You cannot use the hunger of the people as a weapon of war.”

Financial aid for children displaced by the war in Ukraine was set to come from an unlikely neighborhood later Monday, as Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov looked up auction his Nobel Peace Prize medal in NYC.

Muratov was awarded the gold medal in October 2021. He helped found the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta and was the publication’s editor-in-chief when it was shut down in March due to the Kremlin’s crackdown on journalists and public dissent following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Muratov had previously announced that he would donate the $500,000 cash prize associated with the award to charity. Proceeds go directly to UNICEF in its efforts to help children displaced by the war in Ukraine.

In other developments Monday:

– A Russian governor said Ukrainian shelling at a Russian village near the border with Ukraine injured one person. According to Alexander Bogomaz, governor of the Bryansk region, a power plant was hit, leaving parts of the village without electricity.

– The Russian military said it hit an airfield in Ukraine’s southern Odessa region with a missile, destroying two Bayraktar drones and a drone control station. Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said a high-precision Oniks missile hit an Artsyz airfield in the Odessa region. Earlier Monday, Ukraine’s military said its air defense system repelled two airstrikes on the Odessa region and destroyed the incoming missiles. The conflicting reports could not be immediately reconciled.

– The head of Russian-backed authorities on the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Ukraine in 2014, said Ukrainian forces had attacked three platforms operating on a Black Sea gas field. Sergei Aksyonov told Russian television that 12 people were on the most affected platform. Five of them were rescued with injuries, the others were missing. He added that there were no confirmed cases of deaths or injuries on the other two platforms and that Crimea was not facing energy shortages.

– The death toll has risen to three after a Russian attack on an oil storage facility on Saturday, according to Ukrainian regional governor Valentyn Reznichenko. He said on Monday that emergency services were still trying to douse the flames at the facility in the Dnipropetrovsk region, about 320 kilometers south-east of Kyiv.

(Copyright (c) 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed, or redistributed.)

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Nate Jones

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