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In an eastern city, Russians and Ukrainians fight block by block

During a battle that has left Sievierodonetsk in ruins, Russian troops forced their way deeper into a key city in eastern Ukraine. By the end of the year, the European Union agreed to embargo most Russian oil imports as a pressure tactic against Moscow.

The Kremlin was racing against the clock in the battle for Sievierodonetsk, according to military analysts. Russian efforts to capture the eastern industrial region of the Donbas before more Western weapons arrive to bolster Ukraine's defense are dependent on the city. During the eight years that Ukraine has been fighting the separatists, Moscow-backed forces have held territory in the region.

Moscow also shelled parts of northeastern Ukraine as its advance on Sievierodonetsk accelerated, and a battle raged for control of a southern region amid the Russian advance. Volodymyr Zelenskyy, president of Ukraine, said that Russia has blocked the sale of 22 million tons of Ukrainian grain. This is contributing to a growing global food crisis.

According to Oleh Zhdanov a Ukrainian military analyst, "the Kremlin believes it must act immediately and take advantage of the last chance to expand the separatist-controlled territory."

1st June 2022


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