Russian forces have captured territory along a frontline river in eastern Ukraine, with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy predicting Moscow will escalate the attacks ahead of a summit of European leaders expected to welcome Kyiv’s bid to join the EU.
* Serhiy Gaidai, the governor of Ukraine’s Luhansk region, the scene of the worst Russian attacks in recent weeks, said the situation was “extremely difficult” along the entire front line from Monday night.
* Gaidai said Russian forces controlled most of the city of Sievierodonetsk, except for the chemical plant in Azot, which has sheltered hundreds of civilians for weeks. He also said that the road connecting Sievierodonetsk and its sister city Lysychansk in the town of Bakhmut is under constant attack.
* Moscow’s separatist accomplices claimed to have captured Toshkivka, a city on the mostly Ukrainian-occupied western bank of the Siverskyi Donets River, south of Sievierodonetsk. Gaidai acknowledged that the Russian attack on Toshkivka had “a measure of success”.
* Analysts at the Washington think tank Institute for the Study of War wrote: “Russian forces are likely to capture Sievierodonetsk in the coming weeks but at the cost of concentrating most of their available troops in this small area.”
* Ukrainian officials on Monday reported three civilian casualties in Russian shelling in the Donetsk region and another three in shelling in the Kharkiv region.
* A Russian missile strike destroyed a food warehouse in Ukraine’s Black Sea port city of Odesa after the Russian-installed leader of the annexed Crimean peninsula said Ukrainian forces had attacked oil rigs owned by a Crimean oil and gas company.
* The governor of Russia’s Bryansk region said the border village of Suzemka had been shelled from northern Ukraine, one person was injured, and a power plant was damaged.
* The Kremlin said the Americans imprisoned in Ukraine were “mercenaries” who had shot at Russian military personnel and were not covered by the Geneva convention, RIA reported, citing Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying they would take responsibility for their “crimes.” had to endure.
* Russian media on Friday aired footage and short interviews with two imprisoned Americans, identified as Andy Huynh, 27, and Alexander Drueke, 39, both from Alabama.
* RIA also quoted the Kremlin as saying that American basketball star Brittney Griner, detained in Russia since February, is facing criminal charges. Russia has previously said it had arrested her for possessing vape cartridges containing hash oil.
ECONOMIC AND SAFETY RESPONSIONS
* At a summit on Thursday and Friday, European Union leaders are expected to give their blessing to Ukraine to become an official candidate to join – a decision that will be marked as a triumph in Kyiv.
* Russia warned NATO member Lithuania that unless it quickly lifts a ban on the transit of goods to Russia’s Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, Moscow will take covert measures to defend its national interests.
* EU foreign ministers will discuss how to release millions of tons of grain trapped in Ukraine due to the blockade of Russia’s Black Sea port at a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday.
* Several EU countries are pushing to launch a new package of sanctions against Russia and Belarus for the invasion of Ukraine and want to increase military support to Kyiv, diplomats, and a draft document said.
* Europe’s biggest Russian gas buyers are rushing to find alternative fuel supplies and are even looking to burn more coal to deal with reduced gas flows from Russia that threatens a winter energy crisis if stores aren’t replenished.
* “I hope the city holds up and that once she has the advantage in firepower, we’ll be able to free her without leaving her first.” – Mayor of Sievierodonetsk, Oleksander Stryuk.