‘It’s Just Hell There’: Russia Still Pounds Eastern Ukraine

Monday, Russia’s military machine continued its fierce assault on Ukraine’s fortifications, as the war’s implications for food and fuel supply weighed heavier on minds around the world after warnings that the combat may last for years.

Battles raged for control of various villages in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region, which has become the focal point of Moscow’s drive to impose its will on its neighbor in recent weeks, according to the local governor.

According to Luhansk governor Serhiy Haidai, the settlements are located near Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, two cities in the Luhansk region that the Russians have yet to conquer.

Russian shelling and bombing of Sievierodonetsk’s industrial surroundings have increased, he claimed.

On Monday, Haidai told The Associated Press that the situation in Sievierodonetsk was “extremely difficult,” with Ukrainian forces controlling only one area: the Azot chemical facility, where a number of Ukrainian fighters and roughly 500 people are sheltering.

According to him, the Russians continue to deploy additional troops and equipment in the area.

“It’s a living hell there.” In written comments, Haidai added, “Everything is covered in fire, and the shelling doesn’t stop even for an hour.”

Only a small percentage of the 100,000 people who lived in Sievierodonetsk before the war remain, with no access to energy, communications, food, or medical.

Nonetheless, the tenacious Ukrainian resistance, according to Haidai, is preventing Moscow from deploying its forces in other parts of the nation.

Despite its greater military forces, the battle is not going entirely in Russia’s favor, according to the British defense minister.

The Russian ground forces are “exhausted,” according to a report released by the military ministry on Monday. It attributed Russia’s inability to make faster progress on the ground to a lack of air support.

Drivers throughout the world are evaluating their habits and personal finances as gasoline and diesel costs rise, fuelled by Russia’s war in Ukraine and the global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Energy prices are a major source of inflation, which is rising over the world and raising the cost of living.

On Monday, the European Union’s senior diplomats met in Luxembourg to discuss Ukraine and food security.

Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy leader, has urged Russia to withdraw its blockades of Ukrainian ports in order to facilitate the delivery of millions of tonnes of grain awaiting export.

“I hope — no, I am certain — that the United Nations will reach an agreement in the end,” Borrell added. “It is incomprehensible; one cannot conceive that millions of tonnes of wheat stay stranded in Ukraine while people throughout the world go hungry.” This is a true act of war… People’s hunger cannot be used as a weapon of war.”

Later Monday, when Russian writer Dmitry Muratov looked to auction off his Nobel Peace Prize medal in New York, money for children displaced by the fighting in Ukraine was expected to come from an unlikely source.

In October 2021, Muratov received the gold medal. He was the editor-in-chief of the independent Russian daily Novaya Gazeta when it closed down in March amid the Kremlin’s crackdown on journalists and public opposition in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Muratov had already stated that he will donate the $500,000 cash award that came with the prize to charity. The funds will benefit UNICEF’s work to assist children displaced by the Ukraine conflict.


In other news from Monday:

— According to a Russian governor, the Ukrainian shelling of a Russian town near the Ukrainian border injured one person. According to Alexander Bogomaz, governor of the Bryansk area, a power station was hit, leaving parts of the community without energy.

— A missile fired by the Russian military targeted an airport in Ukraine’s southern Odesa area, killing two Bayraktar drones and a drone control unit, according to the Russian military. A high-precision Oniks missile attacked an Artsyz airfield in the Odesa area, according to Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konahsenkov. The Ukrainian military stated earlier on Monday that its air defence system had thwarted two airstrikes on the Odesa region, destroying the incoming missiles. The conflicting information could not be reconciled right away.

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