The report on the fate of Azovstal’s fighters comes as Russia intensifies its attack on eastern Ukraine and NATO warns of a protracted war.
- TASS news agency reported that two top Ukrainian commanders defending Mariupol’s Azovstal steel mine had been transferred to Russia for investigation.
- Luhansk Governor Sergei Haidai says he is preparing for “the worst” as Russian forces step up their attack on eastern cities.
- The Ukrainian military says it has failed in Metolkine, a village southeast of the key city of Severodonetsk.
- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warns that the war in Ukraine could drag on for years and calls for the supply of more modern armaments to Ukrainian troops.
- Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky visits the front lines in Nikolaev and Odessa and says Ukrainian troops will “definitely” win against Russia.
Here are all the latest updates:
Azovstal’s top commanders transferred to Russia for investigation: Report
Two senior Ukrainian commanders defending the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol have been transferred to Russia for investigation, Russia’s state news agency TASS reported.
Citing an unnamed source in Russian law enforcement, TASS reported on Saturday that Svyatoslav Palamar, deputy commander of the Azov Battalion, and Sergei Volinsky, commander of the 36th Marine Brigade, had been transferred to Russia.
Special forces officers transferred them from Donetsk “to conduct investigative actions with them,” the TASS source was quoted as saying. “Other officers from various Ukrainian units were also transported to Russia.
Hundreds of fighters were captured by Russian forces in May after months of siege of Mariupol. Moscow said at the time that they had been relocated to breakaway Russian-backed entities in eastern Ukraine.
NATO’s Stoltenberg warns of protracted war in Ukraine
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has warned that the war in Ukraine could last for years, as he called for state-of-the-art armaments for Ukrainian troops.
“We need to be prepared for the fact that this could take years. We must not refuse to support Ukraine, “he told the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.
“Even if the costs are high, not only for military support, but also because of rising energy and food prices.”
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Ukraine is experiencing military failure near Severodonetsk
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced that the Ukrainian forces suffered a military coup in Metolkine, southeast of the city of Severodonetsk.
“As a result of artillery fire and attack, the enemy has had partial success in the village of Metolkine, trying to strengthen itself,” a Facebook post said.
But the military said Ukrainian forces had stopped Russia’s offensive near the village of Sirotine.
Luhansk governor prepares for “worst”
Sergei Haidai, the governor of Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region, told AFP that Russian forces were “shelling the positions of our troops 24 hours a day.”
“There is an expression: prepare for the worst and the best will come of its own accord,” said Haidai of the Lisichansk city, which is preparing for street fighting: soldiers are digging, laying barbed wire and police are using burnt-out vehicles. to slow down traffic.
Haidai called for the supply of “long-range weapons” to arrive as soon as possible, adding: “The fact that the West is helping us is good, but it is [too] late. “
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head TIMES for all key events from Saturday, June 19.