Russia Advances in Battle for Eastern Ukraine City; NATO warns of a long war

kyiv (Reuters) – Russia said on Sunday that seized a village near the industrial city of Severodonetsk in Ukraine, a main target in Moscow’s campaign to control the east of the countrywhile the head of NATO predicted that the war could last for years.

The Russian Defense Ministry said it had taken Metyolkine, a settlement of fewer than 800 people, before the war began. Russian state news agency TASS reported that many Ukrainian fighters had surrendered there.

The Ukrainian army said that Russia had “partial success” in the areawhich is located about six kilometers southeast of Severodonetsk.

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said administering state-of-the-art weaponry to Ukrainian soldiers would increase the chance of releasing Russian control of the eastern Donbas regionreported the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

After not being able to take the capital kyivearly in the war, the Russian military has focused its efforts on trying to gain full control of the Donbas, parts of which were already in the hands of Russian-backed separatists before the february 24 invasion.

“We must prepare for the fact that it could take years. We must not give up supporting Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said.

Russia said on Sunday that their offensive to conquer Severodonetsk was advancing successfully.

“All Russian claims that they control the city are lies. They control the main part of the city, but not the whole city,” Lugansk governor Serhi Gaidai told Ukrainian television, adding that the fighting made evacuations impossible. from the city.

Among the communities around Severodonestk, Gaidai told Ukrainian television that a Russian attack on Toshkivka, 35 kilometers to the south, “had a certain degree of success.”

Reuters could not independently confirm the battlefield reports.

ATTACKS IN KHARKOV

Britain’s Defense Ministry said on Sunday that both Russia and Ukraine have continued heavy bombardment around Severodonestk “with little change on the front line.”

Analysts at the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, wrote in a note that “The Russian military he will probably be able to seize Severodonetsk in the next few weeksbut at the cost of concentrating most of their available forces in this small area.”

The British military assessment said that the morale of the Ukrainian and Russian combat units in Donbas was probably “variable”.

In Severodonetsk’s twin city of Lysychansk, residential buildings and private houses were destroyed, Gaidai said. “People are dying on the streets and in bomb shelters,” he added. He later claimed that 19 people had been evacuated on Sunday. “We are managing to bring in humanitarian aid and evacuate people as best we can.”

In KharkivIn Ukraine’s second-largest city, northwest of Luhansk, Russia’s Defense Ministry said its Iskander missiles had destroyed weapons recently supplied by Western countries.

The Russian military has tried to move closer to Kharkov, which experienced heavy shelling in the first two months of the war, and turn it into a “front-line city,” a Ukrainian Interior Ministry official said.

To the south, western weaponry had helped Ukrainian forces advance 10 kilometers into Russian-occupied Melitopol, its mayor said in a video posted on Telegram from outside the city.

GUARANTEED STATE OF MIND

Russia has said that it released what calls a “special military operation” to disarm your neighbor and protect Russian speakers from dangerous nationalists. kyiv and his allies dismissed it as a baseless pretext for aggressive war.

the ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskywho addresses recorded messages with citizens every day, said he had visited forces in the southern region of Mykolaiv, about 550 kilometers south of kyiv.

“His mood is safe: everyone has no doubt of our victory,” he said on Sunday in a video that appeared to have been recorded on a moving train. “We will not give the south to anyone, and all that is ours we will take back.”

In the Mykolaiv and Odessa regions, Zelensky said he had heard reports of destruction from Russian strikes. “The losses are significant. Many houses have been destroyed; civilian logistics have been disrupted.”

Reuters bureau report. Written by David Brunnstrom, Clarence Fernandez, Aidan Lewis, and Cynthia Osterman. Edited in Spanish by Manuel Farías.

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