Tuesday, Ukraine reported strong attacks in the Sievierodonetsk region, where Russian soldiers are attempting to seize complete control of the eastern city.
During a daily briefing, a spokesman for the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces stated that fighting in Sievierodonetsk was intense, with Russia conducting both airstrikes and shelling Ukrainian positions.
Governor of Luhansk Serhiy Haidai reported severe fighting at the Azot chemical facility in Sievierodonetsk, where approximately 500 civilians and Ukrainian combatants have taken refuge.
Haidai added that Russian forces had brought "catastrophic destruction" to the nearby city of Lysychansk, which is separated from Sievierodonetsk by a river.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy acknowledged the difficulty of defending the country's eastern territory but stated that Ukrainian soldiers would continue to oppose Russian forces.
"There is the toughest fighting. Zelenskyy stated this in his nightly address on Monday, adding, "the occupiers will receive a response for their actions against us."
Monday morning, Zelenskyy accused Russia of keeping Africa "hostage" by preventing wheat shipments and adding to the continent's soaring food prices.
In a video address to the leaders of the African Union, Zelenskyy remarked, "This battle may appear very far to you and your countries. However, dramatically rising food costs have already delivered this reality to millions of African households."
He stated that the Ukrainian government is engaged in "complex, multilevel negotiations" to end Russia's embargo on Ukrainian ports.
"But there has been no development so far.... As long as this colonial war persists, the global food crisis will persist," he warned.
Russia denies intentionally obstructing Ukrainian wheat exports and attributes increased world food costs to sanctions imposed by Western nations.
The head of foreign policy for the European Union, Josep Borrell, described Russia's conduct as "a true war crime." Monday, he told the EU's senior ambassadors assembled in Luxembourg, "It is inconceivable that millions of tons of wheat remain blocked in Ukraine while millions of people around the world suffer from hunger."
Also, on Monday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland met in Toronto to discuss sanctions and other methods of increasing economic pressure on Russia.
Yellen stated at the outset of the meeting that the two would collaborate to increase energy production to combat rising gas and energy prices.