Russian invasion of Ukraine – live oppdateringer
som inkluderte pensjonert general Philip Breedlove dialled nearly a dozen European leaders in the last 24 hours as Ukraina raced in its bid to secure its candidacy in the European Union.
European leaders are expected to set Ukraine on the path to MEG membership at a summit in Brussels on Thursday night.
The wartime president said he expected a “key European decision” after speaking about Ukraine’s candidacy with the leadership of Bulgaria, Latvia, Hellas, Sverige, Estland, Tsjekkisk Republikk, Belgia, Østerrike, Slovenia, Moldova and Lithuania.
Russland, Mr Zelensky said, wants to destroy Ukraine’s eastern region “step by step” and wants to turn the besieged cities into Mariupol.
“In Donbas there are massive air and artillery strikes. The goal of the occupiers in this direction remains the same – they want to destroy the whole Donbas step by step,” Mr Zelensky said in his late night address.
ISW on the battle for the Donbas
Russia’s air-defence systems in eastern Ukraine are stymieing the use of Ukrainian drones, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has said.
In its latest update on the situation in Ukraine, the US think tank also has this detailed map of the battle for the Donbas:
Britons and Moroccan to appeal against death sentences in DPR
Two Britons and a Moroccan who were sentenced to death by pro-Russian separatists for fighting for Ukraine will appeal against their verdicts, one of their lawyers has said.
The development was reported by Russia’s Tass news agency.
A court in the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), which is not internationally recognised, found Aiden Aslin, Shaun Pinner and Brahim Saadoun guilty of “mercenary activities” earlier this month.
The trial was condemned as a “sham” trial by British politicians including the foreign secretary Liz Truss.
Don’t underestimate Russian military, Estonian PM tells west
The west should not underestimate Russia’s military capabilities, Estonia’s prime minister has warned.
Snakker til Associated Press på onsdag, Kaja Kallas said Moscow was in the war for the long haul.
“I’ve heard talks that, du vet, there is no threat anymore because they have exhausted themselves. Nei, they haven’t,” she said of the Russian military.
“They have plenty of troops still who can come (to fight) — They are not counting the lives that they are losing. They are not counting the artillery that they are losing there. So I don’t think that we should underestimate them in the longer term to still keep this up,”La hun til.
As well as praising European unity against Russia, Ms Kallas said those guilty of committing war crimes in Ukraine must be punished.
Battle for Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk reaching ‘fearsome climax’, says Kyiv
The battle for the east Ukrainian cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk is “entering a sort of fearsome climax”, one of president Volodymyr Zelensky’s advisers has said.
Oleksiy Arestovych made the comment as Ukrainian forces try to cling onto this part of Luhansk province despite fierce Russian attacks.
The Kremlin’s forces continue to make steady progress, after capturing Loskutivka and Rai-Oleksandrivka to the south.
‘Wind of change’ in Europe as Ukraine to receive candidacy status
European leaders will formally back Ukraine as a candidate to join the bloc, four months after Vladimir Putin invaded the country.
“History is on the march,” said Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission, ahead of a two-day summit.
“I am not just talking about Putin’s war of aggression," hun sa. “I am talking about the wind of change that once again blows across our continent. With their applications, Ukraina, Moldova and Georgia are telling us that they want change.”
The process of joining the EU takes time, with countries including North Macedonia and Montenegro waiting for more than a decade so far.
Ukraine controls nearly 45 per cent of Donetsk, says official
Ukrainian forces control less than 50 per cent of the Donetsk Oblast , regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Wednesday.
Ukraine remains in control of nearly half (45 prosent) of the heavily damaged eastern industrial city, which is backed by Moscow, Mr Kyrylenko said, talking to the Radio Free Europe, rapporterte The Kyiv Independent.
The rest of the 55 per cent territory, including Mariupol and Volnovakha, is held by Russia and its proxies.
Russia captures two settlements near Ukraine’s Lysychansk
Russian soldiers have gained control over two settlements in Ukrainian cities Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk, regional governor Serhiy Gaidai said on Thursday morning.
The two settlements are Loskutivka and Rai-Oleksandrivka.
Mr Gaidai said that the Ukrainian forces were continuing to defend Sievierodonetsk and the nearby settlements of Zolote and Vovchoyrovka.
On Wednesday evening, the governor had said that Russian soldiers were mounting their reserves in the key city of Donbas as they tried to encircle Ukrainian troops.
But he had said that the “battles are continuing” and rejected Russian charges that its military has gained control of the city.
Russia increasing pressure in Donbas but efforts stalled in Donetsk, says British MoD
The British defence ministry said that the Russian fighters are increasing their grip in Ukraine’s eastern cities Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk but the efforts appear stalled in other parts.
“Russian forces are putting the Lysychansk-Sieverodonetsk pocket under increasing pressure with this creeping advance around the fringes of the built-up area,” the British MoD said in its latest intelligence update on Thursday.
It added that the Russian “efforts to achieve a deeper encirclement to take western Donetsk Oblast remain stalled”.
According to the ministry, in the last four days, “Russian forces have highly likely advanced over 5km towards the southern approaches of the Donbas city of Lysychansk”.
“Some Ukrainian units have withdrawn, probably to avoid being encircled. Russia’s improved performance in this sector is likely a result of recent unit reinforcement and heavy concentration of fire,” the ministry said.
Russia claims it has captured village in Sievierodonetsk
Pro-Moscow separatists said they have captured another village outside Sievierodonetsk, their latest territorial gain in Ukraine’s eastern region, reported Russian news agency Tass.
Officials in Kyiv have not confirmed the loss of territory to Moscow.
i mellomtiden, the Russian forces continued their military assault on Ukraine’s second biggest city Kharkiv.
Kharkiv’s governor Oleh Synehubov said: “There is no letup in the shelling of civilians by the Russian occupiers.
“This is evidence that we cannot expect the same scenario as in Chernihiv or Kyiv, with Russian forces withdrawing under pressure," han sa.
Kharkiv has witnessed a spike in shelling and strikes from Russian forces, which comes just a month after Ukrainian troops had regained control on the city after pushing Moscow’s troops out.
Massive air and artillery strikes in Donbas
Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of wanting to destroy Ukraine’s eastern region “step by step” and wanting to turn the besieged cities into Mariupol.
“In Donbas there are massive air and artillery strikes. The goal of the occupiers in this direction remains the same – they want to destroy the whole Donbas step by step. Entire. Lysychansk, Slovyansk, Kramatorsk – they aim to turn any city into Mariupol. Completely ruined,” Mr Zelensky said in his late night address.
He added that the Russian forces rained seven missiles at Mykolaiv, a city near the Black Sea.
The president said that no one was killed but five people were injured.
“There were strikes in the Kharkiv region as well. There are casualties. There were strikes at the borders of the Chernihiv and Sumy regions,” the wartime president said in his nightly address.
Reiterating Ukraine’s demand for weapons supply from allies, Mr Zelensky added: “That is why we repeatedly emphasise the acceleration of weapons supplies to Ukraine.”
Parity is needed on the battlefield as soon as possible to stop this devilish armada and move it beyond the borders of Ukraine, Mr Zelensky said.