Ukraine pushes back in Kherson as Zelenskyy heads east

Hungary has asked for at least four years and 800 million euros ($860 million) in European funds to adapt its refineries and increase pipeline capacity for alternative suppliers, such as Croatia.

But under a new proposal submitted to national negotiators on Sunday, the Druzhba pipeline could be excluded from a set of sanctions.

PRESSURE ON THE EAST

Moscow’s forces in the eastern Donbass region continue to increase pressure on the twin cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk.

A day after Russian forces claimed to have captured the town of Lyman, the situation in Lysychansk had “significantly worsened”, Lugansk regional governor Sergiy Gaiday said on Telegram.

“A Russian shell fell on a residential building, a girl died and four people were hospitalized,” he said.

On the other bank of the Donets River, Russian forces “carried out assault operations in the area of ​​the city of Severodonetsk”, according to the Ukrainian general staff.

The fighting in the city was progressing street by street, Gaiday said.

Zelenskyy, in his daily address, described a scene of devastation in Severodonetsk, saying, “All critical infrastructure has already been destroyed…More than two-thirds of the city’s building stock has been completely destroyed.”

In the besieged town, home to around 15,000 civilians, a local official said “constant shelling” was making it increasingly difficult to enter or leave as the water supply became increasingly unstable.

‘NEW FACE’

While in Kharkiv, Zelenskyy discussed reconstruction plans with local officials, saying there was a chance that areas devastated by Russian attacks would “get a new face”.

Although around 2,000 buildings were completely or partially destroyed by the shelling, the city has returned to some degree of normality in recent weeks, with customers returning to the famous Crystal Cafe in the central public park.

Residents come for a coffee, a bite to eat, or to taste “Biloshka” ice cream, a Crystal specialty that the vendor has been serving since the 1960s.

“You have to keep the job. The city is coming back little by little,” cafe manager Alyona Kostrova, 36, told AFP.

Far from the city center, in the Saltivska district, where Russian shells continue to fall, the atmosphere is different.

“I wouldn’t say people buy a lot. People don’t have money,” said Vitaly Kozlov, 41, who sells eggs, meat and vegetables locally.

Volodymyr Svidlo, 82, told AFP he “has no pension”, and comes “once a week” to the neighborhood to sell onions, dill and flowers from his garden to join both ends.

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