Ukraine: War. Live: The city of Severodonetsk is almost in Russian hands

6 a.

Ukraine: War. Live: The city of Severodonetsk is almost in Russian hands

6 a.m.

Ukrainian soldiers are fighting in Severodonetsk, one of the most difficult battles since the start of the war against the Russian forces. They now control a large portion of this strategic eastern city, where President Volodymyr Zelesky says "the fate" for the Donbass region.

We defend our positions and inflict heavy losses on the enemies. It is a difficult, extremely difficult battle and one of the most difficult in this war.

5:55 AM: Russia is also being hit hard by the price rise

According to official data, Russian inflation, which had risen to an alarming level to a record twenty-years ago, began to fall in May. It reached 17.1% in one year. However, the increase in food product prices continued to accelerate with a 21.5% increase in May compared to one year ago, especially for basic products like sugar (61.4%) and cereals (36%), pasta (29.2%) fruits, vegetables (26.3%).

5:50 AM: Another battle on the agricultural front

The Russian Black Sea Fleet has blocked all Ukrainian ports, starting at Odessa. This is causing a severe blockage in grain exports to Ukraine, especially wheat. Fearful food crises are likely to strike Africa and the Middle East first.

Moscow blamed the West for the shortage due to sanctions. On Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara to discuss safe sea corridors. Lavrov stated that Russia is "ready to ensure the safety of ships departing Ukrainian ports (...) with cooperation with our Turkish counterparts". Mevlut Cavrusoglu considered Russia's request to lift sanctions that indirectly affect its agricultural exports "legitimate". The two men didn't announce any concrete means of exporting the currently blocked cereals.

Dmytro Kuleba, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, dismissed their statements. He said that the grain shortage in Ukraine is due to "Russian aggression" and not sanctions against Moscow.

5:45 a.m.: The most recent highlights on the ground

On Wednesday, Ukraine suggested that it would withdraw from Severodonetsk in the east. Serguii Gaidai, regional governor, assured that the withdrawal would not mean abandoning the city to control the entire Donbass mine basin, which is their priority objective. Severodonestk fell "largely" under Russian control, while Lysychansk, the twin city, was subject to "enormous destruction", Serguii Gaidai stated.

- According to the American Institute for the Study of War, (ISW), Russian forces are continuing their advance around Sloviansk.

5:45 AM: Good morning everyone! This live will cover the current situation in Ukraine on the 106th anniversary of the Russian invasion.

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