Ukrainian servicemen patrol an area near a frontline in Donetsk Region, Ukraine, on Sunday. Reuters
Incessant shelling has left Ukrainian forces defending ruins in Sievierodonetsk, but their refusal to withdraw is stalling a massive Russian offensive across the Donbas.
"Some 90% of buildings are damaged. More than two-thirds of the city's housing stock has been completely destroyed. There is no telecommunication," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a televised speech.
"Capturing Sievierodonetsk is a fundamental task for the occupiers ... We do all we can to hold this advance."
A view shows a residential building destroyed by a Russian military strike in Donetsk, Ukraine. Reuters
Zelensky visited Ukrainian troops on the frontlines in northeastern Kharkiv region on Sunday, his first trip outside the Kyiv region since the invasion began.
"You risk your lives for us all and for our country," the president's office quoted him as telling soldiers as he handed out commendations and gifts.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the "liberation" of the Donbas, an industrial region which includes Luhansk and Donetsk, was an "unconditional priority" for Moscow.
Ukrainian forces in the Donbas said they were on the defensive all day on Sunday. Russian forces fired on 46 communities in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, killing at least three civilians, wounding two others or destroying or damaging 62 civilian buildings.
Ukrainian servicemen walk in a trench at a position near a frontline in Donetsk Region, Ukraine. Reuters
Russian shelling also continued on Sunday across several regions such as in Novy Buh in Mykolaiv and Sumy.
A Ukrainian soldier on patrol in trenches near the town of Bakhmut, southwest of Sievierodonetsk, spoke of a nagging fear that his government could be drawn into negotiating an end to the conflict that would result in Ukraine losing territory.
"You know now what I'm most afraid of, now that the fighting is so intense, so tough?" Dmytro, a former English language teacher, told Reuters television. "That we would be told: That's it, stop it, we have a ceasefire."
"A negotiated settlement can only happen on Ukrainian terms and at present if it happened it would be horror," he said, adding that such a move could end Zelensky’s career.
Several European leaders have made efforts to show solidarity with the battle-scarred nation. Zelensky thanked the leaders of Britain and Austria for their visits Saturday to Kyiv, Ukraine's capital, and pledges of further support.
The president said he also travelled to Zaporizhzhia in the southeast to meet with residents of Mariupol who had managed to leave the port city that was destroyed by months of Russian bombardment.
The days-long battle for the industrial city has emerged as pivotal, with Russia focusing its offensive might in the hope of achieving one of its stated aims — to fully capture surrounding Luhansk province on behalf of Russian-speaking separatists.
The details of the incident refer to a report coming from a woman to the Operations Room at exactly (03:15) Friday, stating that a person known to them kidnapped her daughter and there were previous disputes.
Britain, like much of Europe, is suffering from rocketing inflation and stagnant economic growth, raising the prospect of a summer of strikes across the continent.
Civil Defence teams of Sharjah controlled, on Saturday evening, a fire which broke out at a vehicle workshop in the Industrial Area 4 in Sharjah. No injuries were reported.