Britain’s defense ministry said that reports of heavy shelling in the east of Ukraine suggest Russia is ready to renew its efforts on the northern axis.
It tweeted that Russia’s May progress on the southern Popasna Axis had stalled and that it is looking to gain more elsewhere.
The ministry stated that Russia will almost certainly need to make a breakthrough in at least one of these areas to translate tactical gains into operational success and progress towards its political goal of controlling Donetsk Oblast.
Russia is now transferring the remains of Ukrainian fighters who were killed at the Azovstal steelworks in Kiev, which was the final stand in the Battle for Mariupol.
According to an Azov Regiment spokesperson and one of its military commanders, dozens of bodies from the complex’s maze of tunnels have been taken to Kyiv to undergo DNA testing.
This regiment was among those who hid in the steelworks alongside civilians during the three-month-long Russian bombardment of Ukraine.
In May, the Azovstal Ukrainian forces surrendered to Russia in terrible conditions. Russia took control of the city in the south that had suffered the most brutal fighting of the war.
It is not known how many bodies are still inside the plant.
Many of the fighters who were allowed out are still uncertain. President Zelenskyy stated that 2,500 of them are currently being held in prison.
According to Ukrainian officials, Saturday saw the first confirmed official swap of military remains since the war started.
Each side got back 160 bodies.
Spokeswoman for Azov Regiment Anna Holovko stated that all Ukrainians are Azovstal residents and that at most 52 of them could be Azovstalers.
Maksym Zhorin (an ex-Azov leader) confirmed that the bodies were from the steel plant.
Sievierodonetsk Heroes ‘do you not give up’
Russia’s current focus is on the Donbas, a region of Ukraine’s east it wants to capture after having failed to seize other areas such as Kyiv.
Sievierodonetsk is a city of around 100,000 people and the key to this plan. There are intense battles rumbling on.
This week, President Zelenskyy of Ukraine was at the front line. He said Monday night in his nightly address: “Our heroes don’t give up their positions in Sievierodonetsk.
“Street fighting is still a constant in the city.”
According to Russia’s defense ministry, Russia is adding troops and equipment in its attempt to capture the city. It is the last remaining Ukrainian-held city within Luhansk, one of two regions that make up what is known as the Donbas.
According to Oleksandr Stryuk (head of the Sievierodonetsk Administration), the battle seems well-balanced, with “the situation changing every hour”.
Zelenskyy warned that Russians wanted to seize Zaporizhzhia in the southeast. This city is home to over 700,000. A move that could lead to an enemy moving closer towards the centre of Ukraine.
The president stated that “in the Zaporizhzhia area… there is most threatening situation there.”
The UK and the US are sending precise long-range missile systems directly to Ukraine in order to take down the Russian artillery which is causing so much destruction in the Donbas.
On Sunday, President Putin said that new targets would attack any time the West supplies such weapons. On the same day, missiles struck Kyiv for a first time in more than a month.
Russian Envoy leaves meeting to discuss food crisis accusation
Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s UN Ambassador, stormed out Monday of a Security Council meeting as European Council President Charles Michel accused Moscow with causing a global food shortage by its invasion of Ukraine.
Michel also accused Russian troops war crimes and crimes against mankind, citing specific reports of sexual violence, which was the main focus of the Security Council meeting, and calling it “a tactic to torture, terror, and repression”.
In his own speech earlier in the meeting Mr Nebenzia had “categorically rejected” any allegations of Russian soldiers sexual violence and condemned what he called a “lie”.
As he left the Security Council chamber for Michel’s statement, a visibly irritated Herr Nebenzia said to Reuters: “I
Charles Michel’s lies brought “the lies that Charles Michel wanted to spread” and made it impossible for him to stay.
Britons could be subject to death penalty
Two people were killed by shelling in Donetsk, Luhansk, on Monday. Russian forces had fired at over 20 communities, according to the military of Ukraine. Russia denies targeting civilians.
According to the defense ministry, Russia is moving towards Sloviansk (a city located 53 miles (85km west) of Sievierodonetsk).
Pavlo Kyrylenko, Donetsk’s regional governor, stated on television that “the front line is under constant bombardment.”
“The enemy is also attacking Lyman with the intention of destroying our defensive positions and moving on to Sloviansk or Kramatorsk,” said Lyman. With the same goal, there is also shelling at Svyatohirsk.
People are being evacuated from the affected area, including from Sloviansk (which has approximately 24,000 residents).
“People now understand, even though it’s late, that it’s time to leave,” stated Mr Kyrylenko.
According to the president of the self-declared separatist region, three British men who were allegedly fighting for Ukraine as mercenaries are currently being tried in the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic.
If they are convicted of trying to seize power, they could be executed.
Many foreigners who have military experience from other countries have traveled to Ukraine to fight in this war.