© Reuters. The Ukrainian national flag is seen through the window of an apartment destroyed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the city of Borodianka, Kiev region, Ukraine, May 13, 2022. REUTERS / Vladyslav Musiienko
(Reuters) – Ukraine remains under control of the Azot chemical plant in Sierodonetsk, where hundreds of civilians are hiding amid bitter fighting, the region’s governor said on Saturday after a Russian-backed separatist claimed 300 to 400 Ukrainian fighters were also captured there.
* In a video address late Saturday, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that although “fierce street fighting continues in Sierodonetsk”, the Ukrainian army is gradually liberating western territory in the Kherson region and has made some progress in Zaporozhye.
* Zelenski previously insisted that his country would win its nearly four-month war with Russia, which became focused on a terrible artillery match over Sierrodonetsk.
* Regional Governor Serhiy Gadai said that the claim about the blockade of the Azot factory in the province of Lugansk was “a lie. Our forces are holding the industrial zone of Sierodonetsk and destroying the Russian army in the city.”
* Earlier, Gadai said that the Russian shelling of the power plant caused a big fire after a ton of oil leaked.
* Apart from saying that 300 to 400 Ukrainian fighters were blocked in the factory, separatist Rodion Miroshnik said that some civilians have started to leave and that Ukrainian forces may be holding several hundred civilians “hostages”.
* In the neighboring province of Donetsk, the Russian news agency RIA reported that a huge cloud of smoke could be seen after the explosion in Avdiyevka, the city where another chemical factory is located. Reuters could not immediately confirm the RIA report.
* The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces announced in a Facebook post (NASDAQ 🙂 that Ukrainian forces repulsed a Russian attack on three small towns northwest of Slavyansk in Donetsk province, while fighting continued in the fourth settlement in the area and east of the city. .
* “Intense street fights are underway and both sides are probably suffering a large number of victims,” the British Ministry of Defense stated in an intelligence update on Twitter (NYSE :).
* The Ministry of Defense of Russia announced that its air defense forces shot down two MiG-29 planes in the Nikolaev region and one Su-25 fighter plane in the Kharkiv region. There were no comments from Ukraine.
* The Office of the Chief Prosecutor of Ukraine announced that it found out about the death of 24 more children in Mariupol, a southeastern port that was under siege for weeks before it was captured by Russian forces in mid-May.
* The family of the British Shaun Pinner, who was sentenced to death by the Russian mediation authorities in Donbas, spoke on the news about his destruction and asked to be exchanged or released.
* Zelenski said that his country is not able to export enough food due to the Russian blockade and that the world will face an “acute and severe food crisis and famine”.
* Up to 300,000 tons of grain may have been stored in warehouses in the Black Sea port of Mykolaiv, which Kiev says were destroyed by Russian shelling last weekend, said Deputy Minister of Agriculture Taras Visocki.
* German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will travel to Kiev with French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi before the Group of Seven summit in late June, the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported, citing sources from the French and Ukrainian governments.
* European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told Zelensky during a visit to Kiev that the opinion of the EU executive on Ukraine’s application to join the European Union will be ready by the end of next week.
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is what happens when oppressors trample on the rules that protect us all,” US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said at the Asian Security Forum. “It’s an overview of a possible world of chaos and turmoil in which none of us would want to live.”