Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the situation was “indescribably difficult” in Donbass and Kharkiv due to the Russian assault on the two regions.
After claiming to have captured the nearby railroad hub of Lyman, Russia stepped up its offensive and claimed to have surrounded the urban center of Severodonetsk.
Denying the claim, a Ukrainian official said the Ukrainian military pushed back Russian forces from the outskirts of the key city.
Stressing that Ukrainian defenses in the east “still held up”, Zelensky said Kyiv was approaching the point where it would outnumber the Russians both technologically and in terms of strike capability.
Condemning Russia’s “barbaric” strikes in the northeast Sumy region, Zelensky said “Ukraine will get everything back”.
Sievierodonetsk and nearby Lysychansk are the last areas under Ukrainian control in Luhansk, one of the two provinces that make up Donbass, where Zelensky has accused Moscow of carrying out “genocide”.
Russia has waged all-out war for eastern Donbass, Ukraine’s industrial heartland, after setbacks in its attacks on Kyiv and Kharkiv.
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“If the occupiers think that Lyman or Sievierodonetsk will be theirs, they are mistaken. Donbass will be Ukrainian,” Zelensky said in his speech.
According to a statement issued by the Russian Ministry of Defense, “the city of Krasny Liman has been completely liberated from Ukrainian nationalists”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who calls his attack on Ukraine a ‘special military operation’, opposes the West to increased arms deliveries to Ukraine, saying it would be ‘dangerous’ and would risk “aggravating the destabilization”.
(With agency contributions)