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Zelenskiy calls for more artillery for battle in the east Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Friday (June 10) that “cruel battles” with Russian forces continued to take place in the southeastern Donbas region and called on Western nations to provide Kyiv with more weapons.

In his nightly address, Zelenskiy said Russia was trying to “break every town in the Donbas” and that Ukraine’s military could only continue its resistance as long as heavy weapons were available.

“Sievierodonetsk, Lysychansk, Bakhmut, Sloviansk. Many, many others … All these ruins were once happy towns,” he said.

Russia is hoping to capture the full territory of eastern Luhansk province, which it demands Ukraine cede to separatists along with neighbouring Donetsk – an area known as the Donbas, where it has backed a revolt by separatist proxies since 2014.

To that end, the Kremlin has concentrated its forces into a battle for Sievierodonetsk.

Ukrainian troops have largely pulled out of the city’s residential areas but have not yielded their foothold on the east bank of the Siverskiy Donets River.

Russian forces are also pushing from the north and south to try to encircle the Ukrainians, but so far have made limited progress.

Both sides say they have inflicted mass casualties.

Battlefield reports could not immediately be verified by Reuters.

Germany, among the largest suppliers of weapons since Russia invaded but criticised for its slowness in supplying the heavy weaponry Kyiv says it needs, plans to revise its rules on arms exports to make it easier to arm democracies like Ukraine, Der Spiegel reported.

Russian President Vladimir Putin launched what he terms his “special military operation” in Ukraine in February saying his aim was to disarm and “denazify” Russia’s neighbour.

Kyiv and its allies call it an unprovoked war of aggression to capture territory.

(Production: Ben Dangerfield)


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