Ukraine: ‘Hell’ in Donbas, a giant US aid package

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Russian forces continue to increase pressure on Donbass, in eastern Ukraine, which has been turned into “hell,” as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky put it today, who also described the giant package as a military, economic and humanitarian aid package. US investment in Western security.

The US Congress approved the $ 40 billion package yesterday to support Ukraine’s military effort, which was invaded by the Russian army on February 24. While the G7 finance ministers began to count the billions that each member state will give to Kyiv.

“For our partners, it’s not just about expenses or donations,” Zelenski said in a recorded speech that was uploaded to social networking sites in the early hours of this morning. “It is a contribution to their own security, because the protection of Ukraine means their own protection against the new wars and crises that Russia may cause,” he argued.

The new US aid will allow Ukraine to acquire tanks and strengthen its air defenses, while Russia continues to focus its efforts on the east and south of the country.

Moscow primarily wants to take over the entire Donbass region, a Russian-speaking area controlled in part by pro-Russian separatists since 2014.

However, “the Ukrainian armed forces continue to make progress in the liberation of the Kharkiv region”, while “the occupying forces seek to increase the pressure on Donbass even more. The situation there is hell, and it is not an exaggeration,” said the Ukrainian president. .

Russian bombings have killed at least 12 civilians and injured 40 others in the Luhansk region of Severondonetsk on Thursday, according to local police chief Serhiy Haidai, who accused the Russians of targeting to increase even more.

A team of the French Agency on the spot found that the industrial city has been transformed into a battlefield for days and is being pounded by the Russian artillery.

Nela Kaskina, 65, a retired municipal employee, summed up by saying “I do not know how long we will be able to endure”.

Severodonetsk and Lisichansk are the last pockets of resistance in the Luhansk region. Russian forces have surrounded the two cities, which are separated by a river, and are bombing them incessantly.

Russian troops also killed five civilians in the neighboring Daniec region on Thursday, according to local government chief Pavlo Kirilenko.

Moscow announced yesterday that another 800 Ukrainian soldiers fortified in the labyrinthine basements of the vast Azovstal steel plant in the port of Mariupol had surrendered in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 1,730 as of Monday.

He published photos of groups of uniformed men coming out, some with bandages and crutches, after the long battle at the factory that Kyiv describes as a symbol of “resistance”. Ukrainian authorities say 90 percent of Mariupol has been destroyed and at least 20,000 people killed.

It is impossible to verify this information independently.

The military that came out of the factory, among the 80 wounded, are “prisoners of war”, the Russian Ministry of Defense stressed.

Kyiv continues to avoid talking about surrender. “I will do my best to inform the strongest foreign powers and, as far as possible, to get involved in rescuing our heroes,” Mr Zelensky said last Thursday night.

In a video released yesterday, Sviatoslav Palamar, deputy commander of the Ukrainian nationalist Azov Battalion, confirmed that he was still in the factory with other commanders, without giving details of the “operation” that he said was still ongoing.

The fate of the prisoners remains pending. Kyiv wants to organize a prisoner exchange. Moscow says it believes at least some of them are not soldiers, but “neo-Nazis.”

The war, which is set to close in three months on Tuesday, threatens to exacerbate the international food crisis, as it has paralyzed much of agriculture and grain exports from Ukraine, the country that used to be the fourth-largest exporter of corn. become the third largest exporter of wheat in the world.

Washington yesterday demanded that Moscow allow the export of Ukrainian grain. “Stop the blockade of Black Sea ports! Allow the free movement of ships, trains and trucks carrying food outside Ukraine,” said US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

On the other hand, blaming the West for trying to turn Russia into a scapegoat for “all the problems in the world”, Russian ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia dismissed the accusation that Moscow was causing a global food crisis: it had long since stalled. Its causes include rising inflation, supply chain problems and “speculation in western markets,” he argued.

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Source: Capital

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