According to officials in eastern Ukraine The Russian shelling of Sievierodonetsk was so intense that it was not possible to assess casualties and damage, as Moscow closes in on the largest city still held by Ukraine in the Donbass. Fighting is said to have taken place in the streets and “the entire critical infrastructure” of the city has been destroyed, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Ukrainian authorities have described conditions in Sievierodonetsk as reminiscent of Mariupol.
The “liberation” of the Ukrainian region of Donbass is an “unconditional priority” for Moscowwhile other Ukrainian territories should decide their own future, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, according to a Russian Foreign Ministry statement.
Zelenskiy visited the troops Kharkov and visited the country’s second-largest city to witness the damage caused by Russian forces in the Ukrainian president’s first official appearance outside the Kyiv region since the start of the war. “Kharkiv suffered terrible blows from the occupiers… A third of the Kharkiv region is still under occupation,” he said. According to local officials, more than 2,000 apartment buildings were completely or partially destroyed by Russian shelling in the area.
About 31% of the territory of the Kharkiv region is occupied by Russian forces while 5% were freed by Ukrainian defenders, the head of the Kharkiv regional military administration said. “We are not yet in a position to fully inspect some of the liberated settlements, carry out comprehensive mine clearance and start rebuilding critical infrastructure, as the shelling continues. Where we can do it remotely, we do it,” Oleg Synegubov said, according to a statement from the president’s office.
Zelensky says he fired the head of the state security service in Kharkov for not working to defend the city, adding that “law enforcement officers” are now involved. “I came, discovered and fired the head of the Security Service of Ukraine from the [Kharkiv] region for the fact that he did not work in the defense of the city from the first days of the full-scale war, but thought only of himself, ”said the president in his daily national discourse. “On what grounds? Law enforcement will find out. »
The European Union failed to agree on an embargo on Russian oil in talks on Sunday while debating whether to water down a ban on Russian oil imports to appease Hungarian leader Viktor Orbán, who is blocking the latest EU sanctions. However, diplomats said they would still try to make progress ahead of a Monday-Tuesday summit on an exemption for pipeline deliveries to landlocked central European countries. Zelensky is expected to speak via video link with EU leaders in Brussels on Monday.
German Economy Minister Robert Habeck has expressed concern that European Union unity over new sanctions against Russia is “beginning to crumble”. “After Russia’s attack on Ukraine, we saw what can happen when Europe stays together. In view of tomorrow’s summit, let’s hope it continues like this,” he said at a press conference on Sunday. “But it’s already starting to fall apart.”
Russia will continue to supply gas to Serbia, after a phone call between the Russian President and his Serbian counterpart. Aleksandar Vučić said he concluded a three-year gas supply contract with Putin, with details to be finalized with producer Gazprom.
Russia continues to ship gas to Europe via Ukraine, Gazprom confirmed. The Russian gas producer said its supply through the Sudzha entry point stood at 44.1 million cubic meters, down from 43.95 million on Saturday.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has denied speculation that President Vladimir Putin is ill. Responding to a question from the French television channel TF1, Agence France-Presse quoted the head of Russian diplomacy as saying: “I don’t think that sensible people can see in this person signs of some sort of illness or of discomfort”.
Zelenskiy said he believed Russia would agree to talks if Ukraine could regain all the territory it had lost since the invasion.. However, he ruled out the idea of using force to reclaim his lands. “I don’t believe we can restore all of our territory by military means. If we decide to go down this path, we will lose hundreds of thousands of people,” he said.
NATO no longer bound by past commitments to refrain from deploying forces in Eastern Europe after Moscow “emptied of all content” the NATO-Russia Founding Act, deputy secretary general of the US-led alliance, Mircea Geoana, told Agence France-Presse.
Ukraine began to receive Harpoon anti-ship missiles from Denmark and self-propelled howitzers from the United States. “Our country’s coastal defense will not only be strengthened by Harpoon missiles – they will be used by trained Ukrainian teams,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said.
Poland has also agreed to send artillery to Ukraine, Polish state media reported.