Ukraine’s Kyiv Friday marks 100 days since Russia’s invasion, with violence raging across eastern Ukraine as Moscow tightens its hold on the Donbas.
Moscow controls a fifth of Ukrainian land, including Crimea and sections of the Donbas taken in 2014.
Putin’s troops have focused their sights on eastern Ukraine after being repulsed from the capital, raising worries the battle might stretch on.
NATO head Jens Stoltenberg warned Thursday that Ukraine’s allies should prepare for a “war of attrition”
“We must be prepared for the long run,” Stoltenberg said, adding that NATO doesn’t want an open confrontation with Russia.
Despite a slower-than-expected advance, Moscow’s forces are gaining headway. President Volodymyr Zelensky told Luxembourg parliamentarians that Russia currently controls 20% of Ukrainian territory.
Since Russia’s incursion on February 24, many have died and millions fled. Zelensky said 100 Ukrainian soldiers die per day.
Street fights rage in Severodonetsk, Lugansk, Donbas.
Russia controls 80% of the important city, but its defenders are putting up tough opposition. Lugansk regional governor Sergiy Gaiday vows Ukrainian soldiers will fight “till the end.”
Russian military attacked one of Severodonetsk’s Azot factory’s administration buildings and a methanol warehouse.
Gaiday said the Ukrainian military still held an industrial zone, similar to Mariupol, where steelworks was the last resistance until late May.
In Sloviansk, some 50 kilometers from Severodonetsk, residents report continual Russian bombardments.
“It’s incredibly difficult here,” said paramedic Ekaterina Perednenko, 24, who returned to the city five days ago.
“Scary, there’s shooting everywhere. No water, gas, or electricity “saying,
Officials said Russian shelling in Mykolaiv killed at least one person and injured numerous others.
Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, commander in chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, said “the adversary enjoys a clear artillery advantage.”
He continued, “It will save lives.”
Western nations have pumped armaments and military supplies into Ukraine, led by the U.S.
Bridget Brink, the incoming US ambassador to Kyiv, committed Thursday to “help Ukraine prevail against Russian aggression”
The US sent advanced Himar multiple rocket launch systems to Ukraine this week.
Mobile units may fire numerous precision-guided munitions at 80-km targets simultaneously.
Air surveillance radar, ammunition, helicopters, and vehicles are also part of the $700 million package.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov accused Washington of “throwing fuel to the flames,” but US officials claim Ukraine pledged not to strike within Russia.
Western allies have sent armaments to Ukraine and choked off Russia’s financial lifeline to pressure Putin.
The US blacklisted Putin’s money manager and a Monaco yacht company that serves Moscow’s rich.
EU nations decided to suspend 90% of Russian oil imports by the end of the year.
Disappointing oil move
Russia said European customers will pay the most for the oil embargo.
Major petroleum producers agreed to increase supply by 50% a month to cool an overheated market and reduce inflation.
Prices climbed after the announcement, which disappointed investors.
Ukraine is a top grain producer, thus the war could cause a global food catastrophe.
The poorest were severely hurt by increasing cereal, sunflower oil, and maize prices.
Senegalese President Macky Sall will meet with Putin on Friday.