The day of the war at a glance: Russians advance in Sievjerodonetsk - USA offer Kyiv long-range drone

Fighting continues in Sieverodonetsk.

The day of the war at a glance: Russians advance in Sievjerodonetsk - USA offer Kyiv long-range drone

Fighting continues in Sieverodonetsk. Despite the difficult situation, the Ukrainian defenders do not want to lose Donbass city. Meanwhile, Washington is offering Ukraine a long-range drone that can also be armed with missiles. The government in Kyiv also wants more weapons from Germany. The 99th day of the war at a glance.

Zelenskyj: Moscow controls a fifth of the country

The war in Ukraine has been going on for almost 100 days - and the Russian armed forces now control a fifth of the country. "Around 20 percent of our territory is now under the control of the occupiers," said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a video address to the Luxembourg parliament. The territory controlled by Russia in Ukraine is far larger than the area of ​​all Benelux countries combined, Zelenskyy said. The area covers almost 125,000 square kilometers, before February 24 it was a good 43,000 square kilometers.

In the east of the country, the situation is becoming increasingly difficult, stressed Zelenskyj. Every day, the Ukrainian army records up to a hundred soldiers killed and around 500 wounded. "We have to defend ourselves against almost the entire Russian army. All combat-ready Russian units are involved in this attack."

Defenders see improved situation in Seyerodonetsk

The government in London also shares Zelensky's assessment. Supported by heavy artillery attacks, Russian forces are making local gains in the Donbass city of Sieverodonetsk, the British Ministry of Defense said. But they suffered sustained losses. The main road into the city is probably still held by Ukrainian units, it said, citing intelligence.

However, the Ukrainian military does not want to give up the contested administrative center in the Luhansk region just yet. "The situation is difficult, but it's better than yesterday. And it's under control," said Deputy Chief of Staff Oleksiy Hromov in Kyiv. The Ukrainian authorities previously announced that the city was largely in the hands of Russian troops. There are very bloody street fights in the city, Hromow said. Sieverodonetsk is the last major Ukrainian stronghold in the Luhansk region.

Russian troops are apparently also advancing in the neighboring Donetsk region. According to Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko, the attacks are targeting the cities of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk. The fronts near the towns of Lyman and Izyum are the main directions. Kramatorsk has been the de facto capital of Donetsk region since 2014.

US drone for Ukraine under discussion

The US government plans to sell Ukraine four "MQ-1C Gray Eagle" drones, which can be armed with Hellfire missiles for use. This was reported by the Reuters news agency, referring to three people familiar with the situation. However, Congress could still block the sale. In addition, there is a risk of a political U-turn at the last minute. The Gray Eagle can fly at an altitude of up to 8839 meters and remain there between 36 and 45 hours without external tanks. In this respect, the drone is also used for reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition.

Ukraine also wants Germany to have more weapons. During his visit to Berlin, the Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament, Ruslan Stefanchuk, called for the supply of Leopard and Marder tanks. "Of course, what we need most of all is modern weapons. We can also fight and hold out with old weapons from old stocks, but the newer weapons are more efficient," he said after a meeting with members of the Bundestag. "That's why we're expecting both the martens and the leopards."

EU bows to Hungary's veto

Hungary expects a lot from the EU: In order to save the oil embargo against Russia, the member states are now abandoning the planned punitive measures against the Russian Orthodox Church leader Kirill. President Orban had requested this after he had already negotiated extensive exceptions for his country.

According to the will of the other EU states, Kirill should be put on the EU sanctions list because of his support for the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. He maintains close contact with Kremlin boss Putin and has so far shown himself to be very loyal to the Kremlin. In his sermons, the 75-year-old repeatedly supports the war policy and recently even claimed that Russia had never attacked another country.

Kremlin rules out short-term follow-up referendums

Incidentally, according to information from the Kremlin, there will be no referendum on annexation to Russia in the short term in occupied southern Ukraine. "If security is not fully guaranteed - and we see the constant beatings by the Ukrainian military and nationalists on civilian targets in these areas - it is of course hardly possible to speak of it (of holding a referendum, editor's note). "said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

In doing so, Peskov contradicted the demands of the pro-Russian administration in the Cherson and Zaporizhia regions as well as some Moscow politicians for a quick connection. He also denied that Moscow had already made a decision on the voting and reiterated his thesis that the people of the region should decide their own future. "For this it is necessary to create the appropriate conditions."

Moscow: Hundreds of foreign mercenaries killed

According to the Defense Ministry in Moscow, the Russian army stopped the arrival of foreign "mercenaries" fighting for Ukraine and killed "hundreds" of them. The foreign fighters were hit by Russian precision weapons shortly after their arrival in Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry said. Most of them were killed in combat zones because they had little training and little combat experience. The number of foreign fighters on the Ukraine side therefore fell from 6,600 to 3,500.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian media reported high losses on the Russian side. The newspaper "The Kyiv Independent", citing estimates by the Ukrainian armed forces, listed almost 31,000 soldiers, a good 1,360 tanks, around 210 aircraft, 175 helicopters and 13 boats since the beginning of the war. The figures cannot be independently verified.

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