The situation in eastern Ukraine remains extremely difficult on the 97th day of the war. The "maximum combat capability of the Russian army" is now assembled in the Donbass, said President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a video message at night. That same night, the EU agreed on a compromise on the oil embargo. Further sanctions against Russia and financial aid for Ukraine are also to come. According to Ukrainian information, Russian troops had already advanced into the embattled city of Sievjerodonetsk in the east of the country on Monday. The city has been the target of Russian attacks for months. It is considered the last point that the Ukrainian military still controls in the Luhansk region. According to the general staff, on Monday morning the Russian troops were still fighting on the outskirts of the city and in the outskirts.
Russia launched a war of aggression against its neighbor on February 24. Ukraine is currently expecting a major attack on the center of its defense forces in Donbass. Sloviansk-Kramatorsk is the largest metropolitan area still under Kyiv's control. The high command of the armed forces in the east of the country is also stationed here.
EU agrees compromise on oil embargo
The EU countries agreed on a compromise in the dispute over the planned oil embargo against Russia. More than two-thirds of Russian oil supplies to the EU are said to be affected by the import ban, as EU Council President Charles Michel announced during a summit in Brussels at night. In addition, the Russian Sberbank is to be excluded from the financial communications network Swift and three Russian TV channels are to be banned. The EU also promised Ukraine further financial aid of up to nine billion euros. The money is intended to cover running costs such as pension payments and the operation of hospitals.
Zelenskyj: Putin is speculating on chaos from the hunger crisis
According to Zelenskyy, 22 million tons of grain already stored in Ukraine for export cannot leave the country because of the Russian port blockade. He warned that this would mean starvation in countries in Africa, Asia and Europe, which in turn could trigger migration. Selenskyj sees this as Russian President Vladimir Putin's intention to destabilize the West. Ukraine is one of the largest grain exporters in the world. Western politicians also accuse Russia of speculating on a hunger crisis and using it as a means of pressure so that the West weakens sanctions. Moscow denies these allegations.
Ukraine and Russia mourn dead civilians
In eastern Ukraine, both warring parties reported further civilian deaths. Three people were killed by Russian shelling in the Donetsk region, Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Telegram. According to the online newspaper Ukrajinska Pravda, a man was killed by Russian shells in the Kharkiv region. According to the Tass agency, the Russian side spoke of two civilians killed by Ukrainian attacks in the Donetsk region and two women killed in the Luhansk region. The information cannot be verified independently. The two self-proclaimed People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine are recognized by Moscow as independent states. Their capture is one of Russia's war aims.
France investigates war crimes
After the death of a French war reporter in Ukraine, the anti-terror prosecutor's office is investigating possible war crimes. The investigations were started, among other things, because of an intentional attack on the life of a person protected by international law, as reported by the French news agency AFP. TV journalist Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff died near Sievjerodonetsk in eastern Ukraine on Monday while accompanying a humanitarian evacuation. The 32-year-old reporter was hit by shrapnel. It was his second mission to Ukraine since the beginning of the war.
That brings the day
International investigators will comment on the status of investigations into possible war crimes in Ukraine on Tuesday (2:00 p.m.) in The Hague. Shortly after the start of the Russian invasion of the neighboring country in February, Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania set up a joint team of investigators, and the International Criminal Court joined just over a month later. The EU special summit continues in Brussels. Topics include the situation in Ukraine, efforts to strengthen defense and energy and food security.