Russian troops advanced in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday, pounding key cities and aiming “to destroy everything there,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said, as Moscow signalled it was digging in for a long war against its neighbour. Heavy fighting, meanwhile, was reported in the Donbas, the eastern industrial heartland that Moscow’s forces are intent on seizing. “The situation is very difficult and unfortunately it is only getting worse. It is getting worse with every day and even with every hour,” Sergiy Gaidai, governor of the eastern region of Lugansk, said on Tuesday as Russian forces were bombarding the industrial city.
More than six million people have fled Ukraine and eight million have been internally displaced since the war broke out, according to the United Nations.
Here are latest developments in Russia-Ukraine war
1. The Ukrainian military said on Tuesday that Russian troops had fired at Ukrainian border guards in the northeastern Sumy region in the latest of a series of alleged cross-border attacks over the past few weeks. “Seven shots from Russian territory,” the official said as per news agency AFP
2. Meanwhile, Russian shelling continued around Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv yesterday, even after Russian troops withdrew from its surroundings last week.
3. In the port-city of Mariupol, workers digging through the rubble of an apartment building found 200 bodies in the basement, Ukrainian authorities said Tuesday as per news agency AP. The horror came to light as the city – home to 400,000 people before Russia’s invasion – has seen some of the worst suffering of the 3-month-old war.
4. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in his video address on Tuesday night said that Russia is using everything at its disposal in the fight for four cities in the eastern Donbas region. “The situation in the Donbas now is very difficult,” Zelensky said yesterday. “Practically the full might of the Russian army, whatever they have left, is being thrown at the offensive there. The occupiers want to destroy everything there.”
5. The Ukrainian president renewed his appeal for even more weapons from the West to keep Ukraine in the fight including multiple-rocket launchers and tanks. The Ukrainian army is fighting back, but “it will take time and a lot more effort by our people to overcome their advantage in the amount of equipment and weapons,” he said last night.
6. The European Union will allow Ukraine to export grain through EU ports to help avert a global food crisis, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said. “Russia is now hoarding its own food exports as a form of blackmail,” von der Leyen said in a speech in Davos on Tuesday. The EU was also “financing different modes of transportation so that Ukraine’s grain can reach the most vulnerable countries in the world.”
7. Meanwhile, in a bid to recover from the economic crisis, the Russian parliament approved a bill on Tuesday that would allow the government to appoint new management of foreign companies that pulled out of Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the new law made it even more imperative for foreign companies remaining in Russia to leave. “It’s the last chance to save not only your reputation but your property,” he said in a statement.
(With inputs from AFP, Reuters and AP)