Day 108 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Putin thinks he is Peter the Great, Russia wants to Destroy all of Donbas
Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:
Casualties rise on both sides
About 10,000 Ukrainian servicemen have died since the beginning of the Russian invasion, but Russian losses are many times greater, said presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych, quoted by UNIAN.
President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Moscow of wanting to destroy all cities in Donbas
Street fighting continues in key Sievierodonetsk. Pro-Russian separatists say they have surrounded a Ukrainian group at the Nitrogen plant, but the road west through the town of Bakhmut is firmly under Ukrainian control and there is no danger of being surrounded by more defenders, the Luhansk region governor said in a telegram.
Russia accuses the Ukrainian military of shelling Horlivka and Donetsk, separatist-controlled cities in eastern Ukraine.
"Every day I repeat these cities - Sievierodonetsk, Lysychansk, Bakhmut, Sloviansk and others. Russia wants to break every city in the Donbas and this is no exaggeration. This is probably the fastest example of degradation of a country. A path that the Russian side has taken in these 107 days," said President Zelensky in his usual address.
Triple political union
Earlier, in a conversation with students and professors at British universities, he pointed out that a new triple political union between Kyiv, London and Warsaw has emerged in the field of security.
Zelensky also commented on the death sentence of two Brits and a Moroccan who fought on the side of Ukraine, which was issued by a court in Donetsk. According to him, it is a signal to all political leaders and countries that do not want to ruin their relations with Russia by showing them how Moscow works.
The food situation
According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, the ultimate goal of the Russian attacks remains "the destruction of Ukrainian statehood" and the establishment of a puppet government in Kyiv.
Grain warehouses in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Mykolaiv were destroyed in a Russian rocket attack, the Ukrainian side said.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has warned that between 11 and 19 million people are at risk of chronic starvation this year due to reduced exports of wheat and other foods from Ukraine and Russia.
Putin compared himself to Peter the Great
Russian President Vladimir Putin has compared himself to Peter the Great claiming that he did not take territory from other countries, but returned it to Russia.
Putin commented on the 350th anniversary of the birth of Peter the Great, who modernized Russia with extensive reforms and a cultural revolution after a trip to Europe.
"Peter the Great has been waging the Northern War for 21 years. It may seem that by fighting Sweden he has taken something. But he has taken nothing! He has returned! No one in Europe recognized the territory as Russian but as Swedish, but Slavs lived there with Finno-Ugric peoples since forever. Why did he go there? He returned and fortified - that's what he did. It seems that we also had to return and strengthen."
According to the head of state, the Russian economy will remain open despite the conflict with the West. The economy was closed "during the Soviet era when we broke away on our own - we created the so-called Iron Curtain ourselves. We will not make the same mistake again," Putin said.
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