The night of the war at a glance: Secret service: Kremlin's plans extend until October - Heavy fighting for Sievjerodonetsk

Heavy fighting in Donbass continues.

The night of the war at a glance: Secret service: Kremlin's plans extend until October - Heavy fighting for Sievjerodonetsk

Heavy fighting in Donbass continues. In the city of Sievjerodonetsk, the defenders say they hold the embattled Azot chemical plant. The Ukrainian military intelligence service assumes that Moscow adjusted its war plans by October. Meanwhile, the armaments group Rheinmetall reports that the first "Marder" tanks are ready for delivery.

Azot chemical plant still under control according to governor

In eastern Ukraine, fighting continues, among other things, for the city of Sievjerodonetsk. The Russian military fired on the civilian infrastructure in the city as well as in neighboring Lysychansk and three other places, the Ukrainian general staff said. Ukrainian units would have withstood Russian attacks from multiple directions. The information has not been independently verified.

The Azot chemical plant, where hundreds of civilians have taken refuge, remains under Ukrainian control, said the region's governor, Serhiy Gaidai. According to Ukrainian information, around 800 people have taken refuge in several bunkers below the plant, including around 200 employees of the plant and 600 residents of the industrial city.

Sieverodonetsk is the last major city in the Luhansk region not yet fully under the control of Russian troops or pro-Russian separatists. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke of ongoing street fighting. According to Mayor Oleksandr Stryuk, Ukrainian troops control a third of Sievarodonetsk. The city has been without electricity and water supply for around two months, he emphasized.

Secret service: Moscow's plans extend into October

According to information from the Ukrainian military intelligence service GUR, the Russian army is preparing for an even longer operation in Ukraine. The GUR Vice Director Vadym Skibitsky has information that the Russian army leadership has adjusted its planning for another 120 days into October, the US military research institute ISW reported.

According to Skibitsky, the army leadership adjusts its operational goals on a monthly basis - an admission that the initial goals of the Russian offensive have not been met. The intelligence official also claims that Russia has 40 more battalions in addition to the 103 combat battalions deployed in Ukraine. However, the experts at the ISW assume that these are battalions that have been thrown together with personnel from other units. Russia is unlikely to hold back significant reserves given the lack of personnel at the front.

Difficult situation for Ukrainian troops

In the past few days, Zelenskyy and other Ukrainian politicians have appealed to Western allies to send more heavy weapons and missiles as soon as possible. Because the conflict in eastern Ukraine is developing into an artillery duel in which the Russian army has an advantage thanks to larger stocks of weapons and ammunition.

According to Ukrainian and Western estimates, the Russian troops continue to record high losses. In his daily video speech on Saturday, Selenskyj spoke of around 32,000 Russian soldiers who have been killed so far. The day before, one of his advisers had put the Ukrainian army's casualties at around 10,000 since the Russian invasion on February 24.

Rheinmetall has "Marder" ready for delivery

Several "Marder" armored personnel carriers from the manufacturer Rheinmetall that have been decommissioned by the Bundeswehr but are currently being modernized are ready for use and could be delivered to the Ukraine immediately. "We are in the process of repairing 100 Marder infantry fighting vehicles, and the first vehicles are already ready," said Armin Papperger, CEO of Rheinmetall, to "Bild am Sonntag". "When and where the martens are delivered is the decision of the federal government." The infantry fighting vehicles have been requested by the Ukrainian government, but the Federal Government's Security Council has not yet approved them.

Candidate status for Ukraine will also make EU stronger

Selenskyj once again campaigned for his country to join the EU. He was convinced that the European Union could also be strengthened with the decision on candidate status for Ukraine. During her visit to Kyiv on Saturday, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the evaluation of Ukraine's application for membership would be completed by the end of next week. Your authority should make a recommendation with a view to a possible candidate status for the country. Ukraine hopes to get it at the summit of EU leaders on June 23-24.

That's going to be important today

You can read all further developments in our live ticker on the Ukraine war.

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