As Russia continues its operations in the east, Ukrainian authorities said the frontline in the city of Severodonetsk had been split in two amid fierce fighting between Russian and Ukrainian troops.
Lugansk regional governor Sergiy Gaiday previously warned that Russian forces were gaining ground in Severodonetsk as the two sides were engaged in fighting.
As the food crisis worsens due to the war between Ukraine and Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Western countries have “created a lot of artificial problems by closing their ports to Russian ships, disrupting supply and financial chains”.
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“They need to think seriously about what is more important to them: doing public relations on the issue of food security or taking concrete steps to solve this problem,” added the Russian Foreign Minister.
Mr Lavrov said that after the “demining resolution”, Russia will ensure “unhindered passage” of ships in the “Mediterranean and beyond”.
Wheat supplies have been hampered since President Putin declared the “special military operation” on February 24, with Russia and Ukraine being the main suppliers.
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The Russian president had told Turkish President Erdogan on Monday that his country was ready to provide maritime transport from Ukraine to allow the supply of wheat.
Russia has said it will return the bodies of 152 Ukrainian soldiers it claims it found at the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol. Earlier, hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers surrendered to Russian forces at the Azovstal plant after weeks of heavy fighting.
In the midst of the war, reports indicate that a Ukrainian court sentenced two Russian soldiers after convicting them of firing artillery into civilian areas.
Russian soldiers were found guilty of firing Grad missiles at villages in the Kharkiv region. Ukrainian authorities have opened thousands of war crimes cases amid the Russian invasion.
(With agency contributions)
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