Ukraine war

100th day of war: Russia controls one-fifth of Ukraine

Kyiv said Moscow was in control of 20 per cent of Ukrainian territory on the eve of the war’s 100th day. (Photo: Reuters)

On the eve of the 100th day of the war, Russian soldiers bombarded Ukrainian positions in the Donbas region on Thursday, as Kyiv reported that Moscow controls 20% of Ukrainian land.

The soldiers of President Vladimir Putin have placed their sights on seizing eastern Ukraine after being repelled from around the capital city of Kyiv on February 24.

While their advance has been far slower than Moscow had anticipated, Russian soldiers had expanded their authority beyond the 43,000 square kilometers (16,600 square miles) acquired in 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea and portions of the Donbas.

In a statement to Luxembourg MPs, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated, "Today, approximately twenty percent of our territory is under the control of the occupiers."

Thousands of people have been killed, and millions have been forced to leave, with Ukraine's east taking the brunt of Russia's attack, which, according to Zelensky, is killing up to one hundred Ukrainian soldiers every day.

Western nations, led by the United States, have provided Ukraine with armaments and military supplies to help it weather the assault thus far.

But Ukraine's allies must prepare for a grueling "war of attrition," NATO leader Jens Stoltenberg warned Thursday after meeting with Vice President Joe Biden at the White House.

"We must be prepared for the long haul," Stoltenberg said, adding that NATO does not seek a direct conflict with Russia.

On the ground, street battles raged in the industrial hub of Severodonetsk in Lugansk, which is located in the Donbas.

The strategic city is a top priority for Moscow, which already controls 80% of the region. Still, the regional governor of Lugansk, Sergiy Gaiday, vowed that Ukrainian forces would fight "until the end."

Russian soldiers targeted the Azot factory in Severodonetsk, one of the largest chemical plants in Europe, by firing on one of its administrative buildings and a methanol-storing warehouse.

"Firings everywhere"

An industrial zone was still held by Ukrainian forces, according to Gaiday, a situation reminiscent of Mariupol, where a massive steel plant was the last Ukrainian stronghold before the city's surrender in late May.

About 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Severodonetsk, in the city of Sloviansk, residents reported constant bombardment by Russian troops.

Ekaterina Perednenko, a 24-year-old paramedic, stated that she had just returned to the city five days ago but now realizes that she must leave again.

"It's incredibly challenging here, and it is frightening that shootings occur everywhere. "There is no water, electricity, or gas," she stated.

Leonid, a 79-year-old retiree, announced that he was also leaving the city and would seek safety abroad in Europe.

"I feel pain. My predominant sentiment is that we did not deserve this. He remarked that we do not comprehend why we are punished in this manner.

The commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, pleaded with NATO for new munitions, stating that "the enemy has a decisive artillery advantage."

"It will save our people's lives," he continued.

Financial squeeze

After presenting her credentials to Zelensky on Thursday, Bridget Brink, the new US ambassador in Kyiv, stated that the United States would "help Ukraine prevail against Russian aggression."

The United States started earlier this week to supply advanced Himar multiple rocket launch systems to Ukraine.

The mobile systems may fire several precision-guided munitions up to 80 kilometers away simultaneously.

They are the centerpiece of a $700 million (RM3.1 billion) package consisting of an air-surveillance radar, more Javelin short-range anti-tank missiles, artillery ammo, helicopters, vehicles, and spare parts.

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, has accused the United States of "adding fuel to the fire," even though US officials claim Ukraine has pledged not to use the missiles against Russia.

In addition to sending arms to Ukraine, Western allies have attempted to sever Russia's financial lifeline to change Putin's stance.

The United States added Putin's money manager and a Monaco company that provides luxury yachts to Moscow's elite to an already extensive list of embargoes.

Transatlantically, EU states have agreed to new measures prohibiting 90 percent of Russian oil imports by the end of the year.

Hunger emergency

Russia warned that European customers would bear the brunt of the partial oil embargo first.

But some relief was on the horizon for the overheated oil market as suppliers, notably Saudi Arabia, agreed to increase market supply by 648,000 barrels per day in July, up from 438,000 barrels per day.

The war has ravaged the Ukrainian economy, compelling the central bank to quadruple its primary interest rate on Thursday to stabilize the hryvnia.

But it also has far-reaching effects, including the possibility of triggering a global food crisis.

According to the Ukrainian Grain Association, Ukraine, one of the world's leading producers, would likely export only half as much grain as it did in the previous season.

Cereals, sunflower oil, and maize were already more expensive due to the violence, with the poorest being the most brutal hit.

Macky Sall, the president of Senegal, will travel to Russia on Friday to meet with Vladimir Putin.

Sall's office stated that the visit aims to "free up stocks of cereals and fertilizers, the blockage of which disproportionately affects African countries," and alleviate the Ukraine war.

Publish : 2022-06-03 08:17:00

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