According to the governor, during the Battle of Sjewerodonzek, Russian troops took almost the entire city. According to aid organizations, 12,000 civilians could be caught in the crossfire due to heavy fighting. Meanwhile, the EU countries decide on an oil embargo and Chancellor Scholz announces a new ring exchange for tanks. The 97th day of the war at a glance.
Governor: Seyerodonetsk largely conquered
According to Ukrainian information, Russian troops have largely conquered the city of Sievjerodonzek in eastern Ukraine, which has been fought over for weeks. Most of the city is now under Russian control, regional governor Serhiy Gajdaj said in a video address. 90 percent of the city was destroyed. According to Gajdaj, a Russian attack also hit a tank with nitric acid at a Sievjerodonzek chemical plant. The governor called on the population to stay in shelters. He emphasized that nitric acid is dangerous if inhaled, swallowed and if it comes into contact with the skin.
Separated by a river, Sieverodonetsk and Lysychansk are the last cities in the Luhansk region that are at least partially controlled by Ukraine. Sievjerodonetsk has been hotly contested for weeks. On Monday, Russian soldiers and pro-Russian separatist fighters advanced on the city center, according to the governor.
Aid organization: Possibly 12,000 civilians caught in the crossfire of Sieverodonetsk
In view of the fierce fighting, international aid workers warn that the humanitarian situation on the ground could become increasingly catastrophic. "We fear that up to 12,000 civilians in the city are caught in the crossfire without adequate access to water, food, medicine or electricity," said Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). Before the war, 380,000 people lived in the Sieverodonetsk-Lysychansk conurbation in the Luhansk region.
Separatists seize ships from Mariupol
For the first time since Russian forces took Mariupol, a ship left the port of the southeastern Ukrainian city on the Sea of Azov, according to the leader of the pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk, Denis Puschilin. The ship was on its way to Russia with a 2,500-ton metal load, Puschilin explained via Telegram.
Ukraine described the transport as looting. Pro-Russian separatists in the Donetsk region seized several merchant ships docked in the port of Mariupol. "Some of the ships come under the jurisdiction of the Donetsk People's Republic," Puschilin said, according to the Interfax news agency. The ships would be renamed and become part of a newly formed Republic merchant fleet.
EU countries agree on oil embargo
The EU countries agreed on a compromise in the dispute over the planned oil embargo against Russia. At Hungary's insistence, only Russian oil deliveries by sea are to be stopped for the time being, as confirmed by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen after consultations with the heads of state and government in Brussels. Pipeline transports will continue to be possible for the time being.
Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz nevertheless spoke of drastic sanctions against Russia. According to von der Leyen, the EU's oil imports from Russia will be reduced by around 90 percent by the end of the year, despite the exception for pipeline deliveries. Germany and Poland have already made it clear that they do not want to benefit from the pipeline oil exemption.
New ring exchange planned
Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a tank ring swap with Greece in favor of Ukraine. "We will make German infantry fighting vehicles available," Scholz said after the end of the EU summit in Brussels. Scholz said he spoke to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis about an agreement based on the planned exchange of rings with the Czech Republic. Talks with Poland about an exchange of rings are also to be advanced.
Ukraine investigates thousands of possible war crimes
Ukraine is investigating several thousand alleged war crimes in the contested Donbass region in the east of the country. "We have opened a few thousand investigations into what we are seeing in Donbass," Ukraine's Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said at a news conference in The Hague, where she was meeting with counterparts from other countries. In total, Ukraine assumes 15,000 suspected war crimes nationwide since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression at the end of February.
Venediktova counted among the possible war crimes in the Donbass above all "relocations of people" to the territory of the Russian Federation, which also affected children. It is "also about torture, the killing of civilians and the destruction of civilian infrastructure," added the Attorney General at the press conference at the headquarters of the EU judicial authority Eurojust.
Parliament removes Ukrainian human rights commissioner for inaction
Ukraine's Human Rights Commissioner Lyudmyla Denisova has been dismissed by Parliament over allegations of inaction. Parliament voted to dismiss the Human Rights Commissioner who has been in office since 2018. Denisova, a member of the opposition Popular Front party, announced that it would go to court against her dismissal, saying it violated the constitution and international norms. Representatives of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's ruling party accused Denisova of not doing enough to rescue civilians from combat zones and to exchange prisoners with Russia.
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