Ukraine takes step towards EU membership as Russian forces tighten vise on Donbas cities By Reuters


© Reuters. Ukrainian service members watch whereas a tank fires towards Russian troops within the industrial space of town of Sievierodonetsk, as Russia’s assault on Ukraine continues, Ukraine June 20, 2022. Image taken June 20, 2022. REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak


By Pavel Polityuk and Vitalii Hnidyi

KYIV (Reuters) – Ukraine is ready to be accepted as a candidate to hitch the European Union on Thursday, a transfer that enhances the nation’s morale as Russian assaults put on down the defenders of two cities within the japanese Donbas area.

Though the approval of the Kyiv authorities’s utility by EU leaders assembly in Brussels is simply the beginning of what’s going to be a years-long course of, it marks an enormous geopolitical shift and can anger Russia because it struggles to impose its will on Ukraine.

The anticipated inexperienced mild “is a sign to Moscow that Ukraine, and likewise different nations from the previous Soviet Union, can’t belong to the Russian spheres of affect,” Ukraine’s ambassador to the EU, Vsevolod Chentsov, advised Reuters.

Friday will mark 4 months since Russian President Vladimir Putin despatched troops throughout the border in what he calls a “particular army operation” partly necessitated by Western encroachment into what Russia considers its sphere of affect.

The battle, which the West sees as an unjustified battle of aggression by Russia, has killed hundreds, displaced thousands and thousands and destroyed cities in addition to having ramifications throughout a lot of the world as meals and power exports have been curtailed.

Russia has targeted its marketing campaign on southern and japanese Ukraine after its advance on the capital Kyiv within the early phases of the battle was thwarted by Ukrainian resistance.

The battle of attrition within the Donbas – Ukraine’s industrial heartland – is most important within the twin cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, which sit on reverse sides of the Siverskyi Donets River in Luhansk province.

The battle there’s “coming into a kind of fearsome climax”, stated Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to Zelenskiy.


Russian forces had been attempting to encircle Ukrainian troops defending Lysychansk, senior Ukrainian defence official Oleksiy Gromov stated in a briefing on Thursday.

Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai stated individually that every one Lysychansk was inside attain of Russian fireplace and the Ukrainian troops there would possibly retreat to new positions to keep away from being trapped.

Ukrainian forces had been defending Sievierodonetsk and the close by settlements of Zolote and Vovchoyrovka, Gaidai stated, however Russian troops had captured Loskutivka and Rai-Oleksandrivka to the south.

Lots of of civilians are trapped in a chemical plant in Sievierodonetsk whereas Ukraine and Russia dispute who controls the bombed-out metropolis.

Moscow says Ukrainian forces within the metropolis are surrounded. However Gaidai stated on Wednesday the Russians didn’t but have full management of Sievierodonetsk.

TASS information company quoted Russian-backed separatists as saying Lysychansk was now surrounded and minimize off from provides after a highway connecting town to the city of Sieviersk was taken.

Reuters was unable to right away verify the report.

On the southern entrance, Russian forces struck Ukrainian military gasoline tanks and army gear close to Mykolaiv with high-precision weapons, Russia’s defence ministry stated, quoted by the Interfax information company.

A river port and ship-building centre simply off the Black Sea, Mykolaiv has been a bastion towards Russian efforts to push West in direction of Ukraine’s essential port metropolis of Odesa.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged his nation’s allies to hurry up shipments of heavy weapons to match Russia on the battlefield.

“We should free our land and obtain victory, however extra rapidly, much more rapidly,” he stated in a video deal with early on Thursday.

Later, Ukrainian defence minister stated HIMARS a number of rocket techniques had arrived from america. With a variety of 70 km, the techniques can problem the Russian artillery batteries which have bludgeoned Ukrainian cities from afar.

“Summer time will likely be scorching for Russian occupiers. And the final one for a few of them,” Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov tweeted.


In addition to Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia are additionally searching for to the be a part of the EU in what can be its most formidable enlargement since welcoming Jap European states after the Chilly Battle.

Russia has lengthy opposed nearer hyperlinks between Ukraine, a fellow former Soviet republic, and Western groupings just like the European Union and the NATO army alliance.

Diplomats say it’s going to take Ukraine a decade or extra to satisfy the standards for becoming a member of the EU. However EU leaders say the bloc should make a gesture that recognises Ukraine’s sacrifice.

Ukraine’s transfer to hitch the EU ranks runs alongside purposes by Sweden and Finland to enter NATO within the wake of the Russian invasion – indications that the Kremlin’s army actions have backfired in its geopolitical goals.

Anna Melenchuk, a 29-year-old Ukrainian dwelling in Brussels, was amongst a small crowd of her compatriots rallying exterior the constructing the place the EU leaders had been assembly.

“It is a very symbolic transfer on the aspect of the European Union…it is not solely the battle towards Ukraine, Russia waged this battle additionally towards Europe,” she advised Reuters.

“Ukrainians at present are a defend to the European Union, we’re defending Europe from the Russian aggression, so it is so, so vital to see this solidarity in motion.”

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