Once a day, NU.nl gives you an overview of the situation in Ukraine. This time, the fight for Severodonetsk intensified, but the much smaller Ukrainian force withstood the larger Russian strike force. In the Black Sea, the Russian fleet was said to have been pushed back. Positive news came from the port city of Mariupol, where Russia returned the bodies from the Azovstal steel plant.
First of all, the situation around Severodonetsk, where the fiercest fighting is currently taking place. Both sides have a lot to gain and lose. For Russia, the capture of the city means that the entire Luhansk region – a military objective of the country – is in the hands of Ukraine, and Ukraine is actually working to strengthen the country’s defenses by maintaining the city.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky agreed on Monday that “without Severodonetsk, the defense will be much more difficult.” He fears that if Russia takes control of the east of the country, Russian forces could rush in.
Russia currently controls half of Severodonetsk. That was 70 percent at first, but the Ukrainian forces managed to launch a successful counterattack. Mayor Oleksander Stryuk is of the opinion that the defense is currently on hold. “We have enough leverage to stop the Russian attacks.” Zelensky is also positive about the defence, but sees that the city has been badly damaged. The president is talking about a “dead city”.
Another Russian general was killed in fighting in eastern Ukraine. Russian state media confirmed the death of Roman Kutuzkov. Kyiv claims to have killed 12 Russian generals, and the West has reported the deaths of at least seven high-ranking Russian officers.
Russia returns the bodies of fallen Azovstal soldiers
In the south of the country, Russia began to return corpses from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. This was the last Ukrainian military stronghold in the southern port city in weeks. More than 2,000 soldiers defended the industrial zone until they surrendered 82 days later.
Soldiers have been trapped ever since. Due to the constant fighting and shelling, many soldiers were injured (seriously) and it now appears that many soldiers have been killed. These bodies are now being delivered to Kyiv by Russia. It was not clear how many corpses were transferred and how many were still in the factory.
Ukraine says it will push back the Russian fleet
South of Mariupol, in the Black Sea, the Ukrainian army claims to have taken steps. It is said that the Russian fleet was pushed back 100 km from the coast. Also, the Russians no longer controlled the entire northwestern part of the sea. The information has not been independently confirmed.
According to the Ukrainian Ministry, the Russians have deployed their missile systems in the Kherson region and in Crimea to defend the coast against Ukrainian attacks. They had also sent reinforcements to the strategically located Snake Island.
The Russian fleet has been blocking Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea for weeks, including for civilian transport and trade. Because Ukraine is a major exporter of grain, a global food crisis is looming. Despite the advances of the Ukrainians, the blockade was not lifted. Also, Russian ships can still launch missiles toward Earth.
At the end of May, Denmark pledged to provide powerful anti-ship missiles to better defend the coast. Earlier, the Russians had already lost ships, such as the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, Moskva.
“Infuriatingly humble social media buff. Twitter advocate. Writer. Internet nerd.”