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Ukraine hits back after Macron says 'don't humiliate Russia'

After French leader Emmanuel Macron said Russia should not be “humiliated”, Ukraine’s foreign minister criticised Macron.

Interview with a regional newspaper: Mr Macron stated that he would not embarrass Russia to the point where the fighting ceases and that he could build an exit ramp using diplomatic means.

He said that he was convinced that France is a mediator power.

These comments were made by the president as Russia’s invasion Ukraine has reached its 100-day mark. There have been intense fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces in the Donbas.

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Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign Minister, tweeted in response to Mr Macron: “Calls for Russia to be humiliated can only humiliate France and any other country that would need it.”

He said, “We all need to focus on how we can put Russia in its proper place.”

In an effort to encourage talks between the two countries, Mr Macron spoke to Vladimir Putin several times by phone.

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Russia’s forces have concentrated on Severodonetsk, an industrial city in Luhansk, over the past weeks in one of the most important ground battles of World War II.

The city was home to about 100,000 people before the war.

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Boys man Ukraine checkpoint

Ukrainian forces claim they have retaken 20% of the territory that they lost. These gains make it unlikely that the city will fall on Russian forces within the next two weeks.

Both sides claim to have suffered huge losses in fighting that has erupted. Experts say this battle could decide which side will be able to sustain a war of attrition for the next few months.

After failing to capture Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, Russian forces have refocused their efforts on the Donbas region east of the country.

Image: Russia continues its attack on Severodonetsk, and is now eyeing Lysychansk. Pic by Christopher Cunningham

Russia is very close to capturing Luhansk, the southern Ukrainian region that makes up the vast land area known as the Donbas.

The Ukrainian military stated that the attack has intensified around Bakhmut in Donetsk. This is the other province of the Donbas.

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