Day 110 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Russia has Cut Off the Evacuation Route from Sievierodonetsk
Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:
Ukraine’s EU aspirations
"Ten years ago in Thessaloniki, we promised a European future in the Western Balkans. Not all countries are able to obtain EU candidate status," said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, quoted by UNIAN as commenting on Ukraine's EU aspirations.
Kyiv is waiting for the green light for its request to start negotiations at the summit later this month.
Sievierodonetsk remains the epicenter of the battle for control of Donbas
Russian forces have blown up a bridge connecting the Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk with the city on the other side of the river - Lysychansk, cutting off one of the possible routes for evacuating civilians, the Ukrainian side said.
Sievierodonetsk remains the epicenter of the battle for control of Donbas. Parts of the city have been destroyed in some of the bloodiest fighting since Russia invaded on February 24. Ukrainian troops hold about a third of Sievierodonetsk.
In his traditional statement, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky noted that the main tactical goal of the Russians has not changed and they continue to put pressure on Sievierodonetsk, where heavy fighting is taking place.
There is also pressure in the direction of Lysychansk, Bakhmut, Sloviansk, Zelensky noted and added:
"The Russian army is trying to deploy parts of the reserve in Donbas. It seems that they will try to throw poorly trained conscripts into battle. Russia may surmount the number of 40,000 of its soldiers lost this month. In no other war in many decades ago the Russians have not lost so much".
Russian agencies write that due to the heavy losses, Ukraine is sending unprepared young soldiers to the front, who are also dying, quoting reports from the Ukrainian side about the lack of order in the command and the lack of ammunition
The food situation remains difficult
On the 110th day of the war, Ukrainian-controlled ports remained blocked, and authorities relied on land corridors to Romania and Poland to export grain.
And in last week's seizure of Mariupol, separatist leader Denis Pushilin said he planned to export up to 1m tonnes of goods to third countries by the end of the year.
Pushilin refuted the claims of the Ukrainian authorities about the cholera epidemic in Mariupol.
NATO stalls Sweden and Finland’s membership
In Finland, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg emphasized that this month's leadership meeting was not the deadline for granting Helsinki and Stockholm's requests to join the Alliance.
Stoltenberg described Turkey's objections to the two security bids as well-founded.
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