KRAMATORSK, Ukraine (AP) — As Russia claimed progress in this is goal of capturing everything of disputed eastern Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin tried on Saturday to shake up the European resolve punish your country with sanctions and continue to supply weapons that supported Ukraine defense.
The Russian Defense Ministry said that Liman second small city autumn this week, was “completely released” joint force of Russian soldiers and Kremlin-backed separatists, who waged war for eight years in industrial Donbass region borders with Russia.
Ukrainian train system transported weapons and evacuated citizens across Liman, key railway junction in East. Control of it also would give Russia military another foothold in in region; there are bridges for troops and equipment force the Seversky Donets, which until now has prevented the advance of the Russians to the Donbass.
Ukrainian authorities are sending mixed signals on Estuary. On Friday, Donetsk Governor Pavel Kirilenko said Russian troops control most of of him and tried to put pressure on them offensive towards Bakhmut, the other city in in region. On Saturday, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar disputed Moscow’s claim that Liman had fallen, saying there was still ongoing fighting there.
In his Saturday video message, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described the situation. in East as “very complicated”and said that” the Russian army is trying to squeeze out at least some result”, concentrating their efforts there.
The Kremlin said that Putin held the phone for 80 minutes call Saturday with leaders of France and Germany in what did he warn against continuation transfers of Western weapons to Ukraine and blamed for the disruption of the conflict on global food supplies on Western sanctions.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron have called for an immediate end to the fire and withdrawal of Russian troops, according to the representative of the chancellor, called on Putin to deal with in serious, direct negotiations with Zelensky on end of hostilities.
Kremlin testimony of in call said that Putin confirmed the “openness of Russian side to resume of dialogue”. three leaders, who silent for weeks in the spring, agreed to stay in contact, this added.
But lately Russia progress in Donetsk and Lugansk regions, two regions that make up up Donbass can further encourage Putin. Failing to occupy Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, Russia set out seize last parts of in region not controlled by the separatists.
“If Russia succeeded in taking over in these areas, the Kremlin is likely to perceive it as a significant political achievement and depict in Russian people as an excuse invasion”, the British Ministry of The defense said in Saturday assessment.
Russia stepped up efforts to capture cities of Severodonetsk and nearby Lisichansk, which are last major areas under Ukrainian control in Lugansk.
The governor of the Luhansk region Serhiy Gaidai said that Ukrainian militants repulsed the assault on Severodonetsk, but the Russian troops still sought to surround them. Later on Saturday, he said Russian troops had taken over the hotel. on in the city outskirts.
Mayor of Severodonetsk Alexander Stryuk said the day before that about 1,500 civilians in in the city having pre-war population of about 100,000 died, including from lack of of medicines or illnesses that cannot be cured.
The Russian offensive has raised fears that residents may experience seen the same horrors in southeast port city of Mariupol in a few weeks before the fall. Inhabitants who haven’t run yet faced choice of trying to do it now or stay.
Only south of Severodonetsk, AP correspondents saw elderly and sick civilians placed in a soft stretcher and slowly carried down flat building stairs friday in Bakhmut.
Svetlana Lvova, manager of two buildings in Bakhmut, tried to convince the reluctant residents to leave, but said that she and her husband did not evacuate until they son, who was in Severodonetsk, returned home.
“I should know he is alive. That is why I am staying here,” said Lvova, 66.
On Saturday, people who managed to escape from Lisichansk, heavy shelling was described, especially over in past week that left they cannot leave the basement bomb shelters.
Janna Skakova left in city Friday with her 18 month old and 4year-old sons and cried when she sat in train rides for western Ukraine. Her husband remained behind take care of them house and animals.
“It’s too dangerous to stay there now,” she said, wiping away her tears.
Almost three months of siege of Mariupol ended last week when Russia announced complete control of in city. Mariupol has become a symbol of mass destruction and human sufferingas well as of Ukrainian determination to defend the country.
The port of Mariupol has reportedly resumed operations after Russian forces finished clearing mines. in Sea of Azov. Russian state news The TASS news agency reported that the ship bound for for Rostov-on-Don in Southern Russia entered the port early Saturday morning.
in call with Macron and Scholz, the Kremlin said, Putin stressed that Russia is working to “establish a peaceful life in Mariupol and other liberated cities in Donbass.
Germany and France brokered a 2015 peace deal between Ukraine and Russia that would of autonomy for Moscow-backed rebel regions in east of Ukraine. However, the agreement stalled long before Russia invasion in February. Any hope that Paris and Berlin will secure a renewed peace deal now seems unlikely. with both Kyiv and Moscow take an uncompromising position.
Ukrainian authorities said Kremlin-appointed officials in in the captured cities began broadcasting in Russian news broadcasts, Russian language introduced area codes, imported Russian school programs and others taken steps annex lots.
territories held by the Russians of southern Kherson region switched to Moscow time and “there will be no more switch for summer time, as usual in Ukraine, state of Russia news RIA Novosti quoted Krill Stremousov, a local official as saying Saturday.
In his address on Saturday, Zelensky also blamed Russian troops of preventing the Kherson residents from leaving, saying that they are actually “trying to people hostage” in “sign of weakness.”
War has caused global food shortages because Ukraine is a major exporter of grain and other goods. Moscow and Kyiv exchanged accusations over which the side is responsible for keeping supplies tethered up, with Russia claims that Ukrainian naval mines prevent safe passage, while Ukraine cites a Russian naval blockade.
Press service of The Ukrainian Navy said the two Russian ships are “capable of of carrier up up to 16 missiles” were ready for action in Black Sea, adding that only sea routes established by multilateral treaties can be considered safe.
Ukrainian officials put pressure on Western countries for more sophisticated and powerful weapon. The US Department of Defense will not confirm Friday’s CNN report revealing that the Biden administration was preparing to send a range of missile systems.
This was announced on Saturday by Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov. move would be “unacceptable” and urged the White House to “retract statements about military victory of Ukraine.”
Moscow also trying to shake Sweden and Finland’s resolve join NATO. The Russian Defense Ministry stated that its fleet successfully launched new a hypersonic missile from the Barents Sea that hit a target some 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) away.
If confirmed, launch may cause problems for NATO flights in Arctic and North Atlantic. Zircon, described as the world’s fastest non-ballistic missile, could be armed with either conventional or nuclear warhead and is said to be unstoppable with current defense systems.
Last week, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced what would Russia be formed new military units in west of the country in response to applications from Sweden and Finland for join NATO.
Karmanov reported from Lvov, Ukraine. Andrea Rosa in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Andrey Katell in New York and AP journalists around world contributed.
Watch hotspots coverage of war in Ukraine https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine