Ukraine says it has lost up to 3,000 troops in Russian invasion so far as cities hit by more explosions



Ukraine’s president has said that up to 3,000 troops have been killed so far in seven weeks of war with Russia.

Russia bombed Lviv and struck Kyiv with missiles on Saturday, blasting a factory that repairs tanks.

The attack followed the sinking of the flagship of Moscow’s Black Sea fleet on Thursday as Russia promised it would launch more long-range attacks on Ukraine.

Ukraine said one of its missiles had caused the Moskva to sink which shows Ukraine’s strength against a bigger and more powerfully-armed country.

Surveying the damage after a Russian attack in Kharkiv

(AP)

But Moscow said the ship sank while being towed in stormy seas after a fire caused by an explosion of ammunition and that more than 500 sailors were evacuated.

The United States believes the Moskva was hit by two Ukrainian missiles and that there were Russian casualties, although numbers were unclear, a senior US official said.

Holding out in Mariupol

Home to 400,000 people before Russia’s invasion, Mariupol has been reduced to rubble. Thousands of civilians have died and tens of thousands remain trapped.

Ukraine’s military said that Russia’s navy was active in the Sea of ​​Azov to block the port of Mariupol, where ground fighting has intensified as Ukraine said it was trying to break Russia’s siege.

“The situation in Mariupol is difficult and hard. Fighting is happening right now,” defense ministry spokesperson Oleksandr Motuzyanyk told a briefing.

“The Russian army is constantly calling on additional units to storm the city.”

A residential building destroyed in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol

(REUTERS)

He said the Russians have not completely captured the port city, but if they do then it will the first Ukrainian big city to be in their control.

Russia’s defense ministry said it had captured the city’s Illich steel works but the report could not be confirmed.

Ukrainian defenders are mainly believed to be holding out in Azovstal, another huge steel works.

Both plants are owned by Metinvest, the empire of Ukraine’s richest businessman and backbone of Ukraine’s industrial east – who said it would never let its enterprises operate under Russian occupation.

‘Evacuate while still possible’

Russia has been sending additional troops to try to drive Ukrainian forces out of the Donbas, two provinces in the south-east which Moscow demands be fully ceded to Russian-backed separatists it has backed since 2014.

Ukraine says it has so far held off Russian advances there though one person was killed and three wounded in shelling in Luhansk, one of the two Donbas provinces where Russia is trying to advance, governor Serhiy Gaidai said in an online post.

Relatives mourn the fallen soldiers in Irpin, on the ourskirts of Kyiv

(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

A gas pipeline was damaged in the frontline towns of Lysychansk and Severodonetsk, which were without gas and water, Governor Gaidai said in a post on the Telegram messaging app.

“Evacuate, while it is still possible,” he said. Buses were ready for those willing to leave.

‘Significant’ victories

Ukraine gained the upper hand in the early phase of a war which many Western military experts had predicted it would quickly lose.

President Zelensky claimed that 19,000 to 20,000 Russian soldiers had been killed in the war while Moscow said in their last casualty report in March that 1,351 Russian soldiers had been killed and 3,825 wounded.

The Ukrainian president said the military situation in the south and east was “still very difficult,” while praising the work of his armed forces.

“The successes of our military on the battlefield are really significant, historically significant. But they are still not enough to clean our land of the occupiers. We will beat them some more,” he said in a late-night video address, calling again for allies to send heavier weapons and for an international embargo on Russian oil.

President Zelensky has appealed to US President Joe Biden for the United States to designate Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism,” joining North Korea, Cuba, Iran and Syria, the Washington Post reported, citing people familiar with their conversation.

A White House spokesperson responded by saying, “We will continue to consider all options to increase the pressure on Putin.”


www.independent.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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