Key Ukrainian city under the “massive” Russian bombing

Kyiv: Ukrainian forces face “massive” and ruthless artillery attacks on a battlefield in the eastern city, Kyiv warned as Russian troops were gaining ground throughout the Donbass region.
MoscowRussian troops are attacking the east Ukraine for weeks and progressing slowly, despite fierce resistance from the superior Ukrainian military.
With the president Vladimir PutinRussia’s forces are tightening their grip on the strategically important city of Severodonetsk in the Donbass, and its sister Lisichansk is now under heavy bombardment.
“The Russian army is shelling Lisichansk en masse,” Sergei Gaidai, governor of the Luhansk region, which includes both cities, wrote in the Telegram.
“They’re just destroying everything there … They destroyed buildings and unfortunately there are casualties.”
Russian forces have occupied villages in the area, and taking control of the two cities will give Moscow control of all of Luhansk, allowing them to push further into the Donbass.
After being pushed out of Kyiv and other parts of Ukraine after their February invasion, Moscow is seeking to take over a vast eastern part of the country.
In Lisichansk, a Russian coup left a gaping hole in a police station and damaged nearby apartment buildings, according to AFP reporters in the city.
A direct hit at the station on Monday night injured 20 police officers, according to authorities.
“The partition walls fell and the doors were blown out,” said a police officer, who gave his nickname Petrovic, pointing to the damage to the building.
In his daily address on Tuesday, the Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelenski also accused the Russian army of “brutal and cynical” shelling in the eastern Kharkiv region.
“The Russian army is deaf to all rationality. It just destroys, it just kills,” he said.
Fifteen people were killed in a Russian shelling in Kharkov on Tuesday, its governor said.
Far from the battlefield, Moscow was in growing dispute with EU member Lithuania over the country’s restrictions on rail traffic to Russia’s Kaliningrad outpost.
The territory is about 1000 miles (1600 kilometers) from Moscow, bordering Lithuania and Poland.
By blocking goods arriving from Russia, Lithuania says it is simply sticking to EU-wide sanctions against Moscow.
But Moscow accused Brussels of “escalating” and summoned the EU’s ambassador to Russia.
The United States has made clear its commitment to Lithuania as a NATO ally that sees an attack on one member as an attack on all.
“We stand by our NATO allies and we stand by Lithuania,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters in Washington.
As tensions between the United States and Russia escalate, the State Department confirmed on Tuesday that a second American, 52-year-old Stephen Zabielski, had been killed while fighting for Ukraine.
Two other Americans were captured last week in eastern Ukraine.
White House spokesman John Kirby expressed concern over Russia’s statements that it would not implement the Geneva Conventions for the Welfare of Prisoners.
“It is appalling that a Russian civil servant would even offer the death penalty for two American citizens who have been to Ukraine,” Kirby told reporters.
Ukraine is seeking membership in the European Union after failing to join NATO.
Ministers were united on Tuesday in granting candidate status to Ukraine as well as Moldova before officially receiving the green light later this week, said French European Minister Clement Bonn, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency.
Zelenski, who has become a hero in Europe because of resistance to the invasion, said he was working on the phone to gain support for EU membership.
“I will do my best to approve the historic decision of the European Union. That is important for us, “he said.
– “Fight for weapons” – Western countries are pumping billions of dollars of weapons into Ukraine, where Defense Minister Alexei Reznikov tweeted that powerful German artillery with the howitzer Panzerhaubitze 2000 has reached the forces of his country.
But Zelensky reiterated Ukraine’s calls for faster arms deliveries.
“We are fighting every day for the supply of modern weapons to our country,” he said in his daily address. “The lives of thousands of people depend directly on the speed of our partners.”
Ukraine, meanwhile, said it had hit a Black Sea oil rig off the Crimean peninsula because Russia was using it as a military installation.
The facility had Russian garrisons and equipment for air defense, radar warfare and intelligence, Sergei Bratchuk of the Odessa regional military administration told an online briefing.
Ukraine, its Western supporters and the International Criminal Court have vowed to hold the war accountable.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland visited Ukraine on Tuesday to discuss the prosecution of those involved in war crimes.
“We have nowhere to hide,” Garland said.

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