Battle for Severodonetsk rages as Ukraine seeks more Western weapons
Heavy fighting continues around Ukraine’s strategic city of Severodonetsk in Donbas, as Russian forces push to bring the eastern region completely under control. In an address on Saturday, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said battle for the city was “probably one of the most difficult throughout this war. The battle for Severodonetsk may decide the outcome for eastern Ukraine, he said. Zelensky said Ukrainian forces are doing their best to stop Russia’s offensive. “The Ukrainian troops are doing everything to stop the offensive of the occupiers. Severodonetsk, the administrative center of Ukraine’s Luhansk region, and nearby Lysychansk have recently been the focus of the Russian military operation in Ukraine.
Ukrainian Deputy Head of Military Intelligence Vadym Skibitsky has said Ukraine is now losing against Russia in the frontlines. Skibitsky went on to say that Ukraine is using 5,000 to 6,000 artillery rounds a day, emphasizing the need for the West to supply Ukraine with long-range rocket systems to destroy the Russian artillery pieces from afar. Ukraine is pleading for faster and more deliveries of weapons from the West as Russia’s offensive continues unabated. US President Joe Biden said last week that Washington will provide Ukraine with advanced rocket systems and munitions that will enable it to more precisely strike key targets on the battlefield. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has warned provision of longer-range missiles for Ukraine would see Russia strike harder. Russia launched the February offensive following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements and Moscow’s recognition of the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Western countries responded to Russia’s operation by backing Ukraine with cash and increasingly heavy weaponry, while imposing unprecedented waves of sanction against Moscow. Separately on Saturday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she would discuss Ukraine's reconstruction and progress towards European Union membership, as she returned to Kiev for a meeting with Zelensky. "With President Zelensky I will take stock of the joint work needed for reconstruction and of the progress made by Ukraine on its European path,” she said in a post on Twitter. European Union leaders have already dashed Kiev’s demand for an accelerated membership of the bloc over the conflict, with leaders declining to open a membership procedure at war time.
Read full article at Press TV