A young local resident passes by a crater caused by a Russian strike in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, on Saturday. AP
After ending weeks of resistance by the last Ukrainian fighters in the strategic southeastern city of Mariupol, Russia is waging a major offensive in Luhansk, one of two provinces in Donbas.
Russian-backed separatists already controlled swathes of territory in Luhansk and the neighbouring Donetsk province before the Feb. 24 invasion, but Moscow wants to seize the last remaining Ukrainian-held territory in Donbas.
"The situation in Donbas is extremely difficult," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly address. The Russian army was trying to attack the cities of Sloviansk and Sievierodonetsk, but Ukrainian forces were holding off their advance, he said.
Smoke rises above a residential area near the town of Izium, Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Saturday. Reuters
Zelensky adviser Mykhailo Podolyak ruled out agreeing to a ceasefire and said Kyiv would not accept any deal with Moscow that involved ceding territory. Making concessions would backfire on Ukraine because Russia would hit back harder after any break in fighting, he said.
"The war will not stop (after concessions). It will just be put on pause for some time," Podolyak, Ukraine's lead negotiator, told Reuters in an interview in the heavily guarded presidential office. "They'll start a new offensive, even more bloody and large-scale."
Recent calls for an immediate ceasefire have come from US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
The end of fighting in Mariupol, the biggest city Russia has captured, gives Russian President Vladimir Putin a rare victory after a series of setbacks in nearly three months of combat.
Service members of the Ukrainian armed forces travel on a military vehicle near the town of Bakhmut. Reuters
The last Ukrainian forces holed up Mariupol's vast Azovstal steelworks surrendered on Friday, Russia said.
Full control of Mariupol gives Russia command of a land route linking the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow seized in 2014, with mainland Russia and areas of eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russia separatists.
Ukrainian forces in the separatist-controlled regions of Luhansk and Donetsk said on Saturday they had repelled nine attacks and destroyed five tanks and 10 other armoured vehicles in the previous 24 hours.
Russian forces were using aircraft, artillery, tanks, rockets, mortars and missiles along the entire front line to attack civilian structures and residential areas, the Ukrainians said in a Facebook post. At least seven people had been killed in the Donetsk region, they said.
People walk past a destroyed building in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Saturday. AP
Russian troops destroyed a bridge on the Siverskiy Donets River between Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Gaidai said. There was fighting on the outskirts of Sievierodonetsk from morning through the night, he said on the Telegram messaging app.
Sievierodonetsk and its twin Lysychansk across the Siverskiy Donets River form the eastern part of a Ukrainian-held pocket that Russia has been trying to overrun since mid-April after failing to capture Kyiv.
Zelensky said late on Monday he was prepared to discuss a commitment from Ukraine not to seek NATO membership in exchange for a cease-fire, the withdrawal of Russian troops and a guarantee of Ukraine’s security.
"I have to announced that, unfortunately, we have lost more heroes: 35 people died as a result of the shelling of the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre," the governor of Lviv region Maxim Kozitsky wrote on Telegram.
As if the Ukrainian people weren’t suffering enough from the real war being waged on them by Russian invaders, Madison Cawthorn wants to engage them in a culture war, too. “Remember that Zelensky is a thug,” the Republican Congressman
During the meeting, they discussed friendship relations and various aspects of cooperation and coordination between the UAE and the United States of America, especially in the defence and military sectors.
The Philippine Overseas Labour Office in Dubai (POLO-Dubai) which has been upgrading its digital services and which has been on road tours with the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai (PCG-Dubai) to the Northern Emirates, is going for another outreach programme on September 18
The Dubai Court of Appeal commuted a judgment of three years imprisonment issued by the Criminal Court against an Asian woman and a gang from an Eastern European country to 6 months in prison, while upholding the fine of Dhs29,800 and the deportation after serving the terms.