July 2, 2022

Russia presses on Donbas offensive during Polish leader’s visit to Kiev

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) – Russia suppressed its offensive in the eastern Donbass region of Ukraine on Sunday, with the Polish president going to Kiev to support the country’s Western aspirations and becoming the first foreign leader to address the Ukrainian parliament since the start of the war..

Ukrainian lawmakers praised Polish President Andrzej Duda, who thanked them for speaking at a “free, independent and democratic heart of Ukraine”.

Duta’s visit is his second visit to the Ukrainian capital since April, when Russian and Ukrainian forces were engaged in wars scattered over 551-kilometers (342-miles) of western pepper in the eastern industrial center of the country.

After announcing full control of the sprawling coastal steel plant Since 2014, the Russian military has carried out artillery and missile strikes on the industrial center of Ukraine, seeking to expand the territory held by pro-Moscow separatists.

In a video address to the nation on Saturday night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky described the situation in the Donbass as “extremely difficult,” but described his country’s resilience. Nearly three months of full-scale war against Russia is “good news.”

“Every day, our defenders are moving away from these offensive plans of Russia and disrupting them.

Zelenskyy on Saturday urged the 27-member European Union to consider Ukraine’s willingness to join the alliance as soon as possible in the wake of Russia’s invasion.

“I want to emphasize that our path to European integration is not just about politics,” Zelensky said. “It’s about the quality of life. Ukrainians, like most Europeans, feel the value of life.

Ukraine’s possible EU candidacy is due to be discussed at the Brussels summit in late June. The government in Warsaw is intensifying efforts to persuade other EU members who are too reluctant to accept the war-torn country as a member.

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Poland welcomes millions of Ukrainian refugees Became a gateway for Western humanitarian aid and weapons into Ukraine. It is a transportation point within Ukraine for some foreign fighters, including Belarus, who have volunteered to fight. Against Russian forces.

“Despite the great devastation, the terrible crime and great suffering that the Ukrainian people experience every day, the Russian invaders did not break you. They failed in that. I deeply believe that they will never succeed,” he told the Ukrainian legislature Verkhovna Rada. I want to say: the free world today has the face of Ukraine. “

In recent days Russia seems to have made slow grinding moves in the Donbass. It intensified its efforts to capture the main Ukrainian city of Luhansk Oblast, Siverodonetsk, which, along with Donetsk Oblast, formed the Donbass.

Luhansk Gov. According to Serhii Haidai, the only hospital operating in the city has only three doctors and has enough supplies for 10 days.

On Sunday, Russia’s only operating company of BMP-T Terminator tank support vehicles, designed to defend key battle tanks, “may have been sent to the Sivrodonetsk axis of the Donbass attack,” the British Defense Ministry said.

However, with a maximum of 10 vehicles parked, it said “they are unlikely to have a significant impact on the campaign.”

In a morning statement from the Civil Service, Russia said it was preparing to resume its offensive against the Slovian city of Donetsk, a key Russian target for its occupation of eastern Ukraine, and had seen heavy fighting since the withdrawal of Moscow’s troops last month. Kiev

Seven civilians were killed and 10 wounded in a Russian shelling on Saturday in the Donetsk region, the regional governor said.

A monastery in the village of Pohorodichne was evacuated following an attack by Russian airstrikes, regional police said Saturday. About 100 monks, nuns and children were searching for safe shelter in the basement of the church, but no one was injured, police said in a Facebook post.

Russia says it has captured about 2,500 Ukrainian militants From the besieged Mariupol steel plant, concerns about their fate and the future facing the rest of the city’s residents have increased, and now more than 20,000 residents are feared dead in the rubble.

Family members of the militants, who came from various military and law enforcement agencies, eventually returned to Ukraine, demanding their rights as prisoners of war. Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vareshchuk said on Saturday that Ukraine would “fight back” each of them.

The Russian Defense Ministry on Saturday released a video of Sergei Wolinsky, commander of the 36th Special Marine Regiment of the Ukrainian Navy, one of the main forces guarding the steel plant, being detained by its troops. The Associated Press could not independently verify the date, location and terms of the video.

The Azovstel steel plant has been the last defensive part of Mariupol for several weeks and has become a symbol of Ukrainian commitment. Its capture gave Russian President Vladimir Putin the much-coveted victory in the war that began almost three months ago.

Denis Bushlin, pro-Kremlin leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic, vowed that Ukrainian militants from the plant would face tribunals.. He said some of the militants were foreign nationals, but did not provide details.

The Ukrainian government has not commented on Russia’s claim to have captured Azovstall. The Ukrainian army told the militants that their mission was over And they can come out. It described their extraction as an exodus, not a mass surrender.

Mariupol, which was part of the Donbass, was besieged at the beginning of the war and became a frightening role model for people elsewhere in the country of the hunger, terror and death they would face if the Russians surrounded their communities.

The mayor warned Saturday that the city faces a health and sanitation “disaster” caused by mass burrows in shallow pits across the ruined city and the breakdown of sewer systems. Of the 450,000 people who lived in Mariupol before the war, only 100,000 remain.

“In addition to the humanitarian catastrophe caused by the (Russian) occupiers and collaborators, the city is on the brink of an epidemic,” Mayor Vadim Boychenko told the Telegram.

As Russia controls the city, Ukrainian authorities will face delays in documenting evidence of alleged Russian atrocities in Mariupol, including the bombing of a maternity hospital and a theater where hundreds of civilians were hiding..

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Becatoros report from Donetsk. Associated Press journalists in Lviv were joined by Yuras Karmanov, Andrea Rosa in Kharkiv and other AP staff from around the world.

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Follow the AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine