Russian forces ‘advancing in all directions’ in Lugansk region, governor says

Invasion Day 90 Updates

  • Russia brought ‘insane number’ of fighters and equipment to Luhansk region, governor says

  • Bodies found in Mariupol building, unclear when they died.

  • Ukraine says at least 14 civilians were killed in Russian attacks in the east on Tuesday.

  • The military spokesman said eastern Ukraine was facing “large-scale aggression” from Russia.

  • The latest Canadian contribution to the fighting against Ukraine is 20,000 artillery shells, usable in howitzers.

  • The President of the European Commission thinks that Russia is targeting grain warehouses.

WARNING: This story contains graphic details of death

Ukraine’s governor of the eastern Luhansk region said on Tuesday the region was going through “the most difficult period” since the conflict with Russian-backed separatists began in 2014.

“Now for the Lugansk region this is the most difficult period of the eight years of war,” Serhii Haidai wrote on the Telegram messaging app. “The Russians are advancing in all directions at the same time; they have brought an insane number of fighters and equipment.”

He also accused Moscow troops of deploying scorched earth tactics in the region, one of two that make up the industrial heartland of eastern Ukraine.

On Tuesday, two men carry a wooden sign next to heavily damaged buildings and destroyed cars in Bakhmut, eastern Ukraine. (Francisco Seco/Associated Press)

“It’s only getting worse. What the Russians are doing is hard to describe in words. The invaders are killing our cities, destroying everything around.

“The situation is about to be critical. The free region of Luhansk is now like Mariupol,” Haidai said, referring to the crumbling port city captured by Moscow last week.

Find bodies in Mariupol

Workers digging through the rubble found 200 bodies in Mariupol, Ukrainian authorities said on Tuesday, another grim find in the city that has seen some of the worst suffering in the three-month-old war.

The bodies found in the basement of a collapsed building were in a state of decomposition and a stench permeated the neighborhood, said Petro Andryushchenko, an adviser to the city’s mayor.

Perched on the Sea of ​​Azov, Mariupol has been pounded relentlessly during a months-long siege that finally ended last week after some 2,500 Ukrainian fighters abandoned a steel mill where they had fought their last stand.

Russian forces already held the rest of the city, where around 100,000 people remain out of a pre-war population of 450,000, many of whom are trapped without food, water, heat or electricity.

An aerial view from a drone on Sunday shows heavily damaged residential buildings near Azovstal Iron and Steel Works in the southern port city of Mariupol. (Pavel Klimov/Reuters)

News of the discovery of the bodies came shortly after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of waging “all-out war”, seeking to inflict as much death and destruction on his country as possible.

He pointed to a missile attack that killed 87 people last week in the town of Desna, 55 kilometers north of kyiv, one of the deadliest single strikes of the war.

“And it was only four missiles,” he said, noting the hundreds of such strikes since the war began on February 24.

Reports of surrender leaflets

The Kremlin is now mainly focused on the eastern industrial heartland of Donbass, where Russian forces have stepped up efforts to surround and capture Severodonetsk and the nearby towns of Lysychansk and Rubizhne in the Luhansk region, British military authorities said on Tuesday.

Pro-Russian soldiers reportedly used a howitzer to fire leaflets towards Severodonetsk on Tuesday. The leaflets contained instructions for the surrender process.

On Tuesday, soldiers from pro-Russian troops carry leaflets to their combat positions in the Luhansk region of Ukraine. (Alexander Ermoshenko/Reuters)

Russian forces achieved ‘some localized successes’ despite heavy Ukrainian resistance along entrenched positions, the UK MoD said, but the fall of Severodonetsk and the area around it could cause logistical problems for the Russians .

“If the Donbass front line moves further west, it will stretch Russian lines of communication and likely see its forces face new logistical resupply difficulties,” the ministry said.

Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk described the battle there in starker terms on Tuesday during a televised briefing.

“We are now observing the most active phase of the large-scale aggression that Russia has deployed against our country,” he said.

WATCH | Heavy shelling in Severodonetsk:

UK says Russia is stepping up attacks in eastern Ukraine, gaining little ground

The British Ministry of Defense said Russian forces were trying to capture the entire Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine with new attacks.

Ukraine’s military said on Tuesday that Russian troops killed at least 14 civilians and injured 15 others in massive attacks in the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.

In a Facebook post, he said Russian troops had used aircraft, multiple rocket launchers, artillery, tanks, mortars and missiles in their assault on the two regions, much of which is controlled by Russian-speaking separatists.

In its effort to secure a victory in the Donbass, Moscow withdrew some forces around Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv.

WATCH | The West must keep the pressure on Russia, says Zelensky:

Zelensky calls for maximum Russian sanctions, UN diplomat resigns

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for maximum sanctions against Russia as it faces resistance in the Donbass region, and a key Russian diplomat at the United Nations says he is ashamed of his country.

There, residents lined up for rations of tea, sugar, pasta and grain, holding out plastic bags to receive cups of flour and other supplies.

Kharkiv restarted its metro service on Tuesday and asked the hundreds of people who had used the metro as a bomb shelter in the past three months to release the carriages, but many said they were still too scared to go home them.

“Everyone is madly scared, because there is still shelling, rocket attacks have not been stopped,” said Nataliia Lopanska, who has been living in a train carriage for nearly three months.

Meanwhile, a Russian official based in Ukraine’s Kherson region said the pro-Kremlin administration would ask Moscow to set up a military base there.

“It is of vital importance and will become a guarantee of security for the region and its inhabitants,” said Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of administration.

Commuters take the metro in Kharkiv, eastern Ukraine, on Tuesday. Kharkiv’s metro resumed service on Tuesday morning after being closed for more than two months during Russian attempts to take over the city. (Bernat Armangue/Associated Press)

Meanwhile, two senior Russian security officials vowed on Tuesday that Moscow would meet all targets set for the “military operation” in Ukraine, appearing to take into account that the invasion, expected by many to be a blitzkrieg, is entered its fourth month.

Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said in an interview published on Tuesday that the Russian government is “not chasing deadlines.”

WATCH | Expect dozens more war crimes trials due to Russia-Ukraine war, expert says:

Expect dozens more war crimes trials due to Russia-Ukraine war, expert says

Targeting unarmed civilians during war is “always criminal”, said Michael Newton, a law professor and former US State Department official. There are dozens of other war crimes trials in the wake of Ukraine’s war with Russia, he said.

On the third day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, Ukraine was front and center.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, during a speech at the WEF, accused Russia of deliberately bombing grain warehouses across Ukraine and militarizing food supplies.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has disrupted the world’s food supply, and the blockade of Ukrainian ports has been particularly damaging. Ukraine accounted for 90% of grain and oilseed exports before the war, according to the European Union.

Von der Leyen said about 20 million tonnes of wheat are currently stuck in Ukraine.

WATCH | The former US ambassador to NATO speaks to CBC News about the expansion of the alliance:

“And on top of that, Russia is now hoarding its own food exports as a form of blackmail – by cutting back supplies to raise world prices, or trading wheat for political support,” he said. she stated. “It is to use hunger and grain to exercise power.”

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday called on US allies to step up financial support for Ukraine, saying the funds announced so far would not be sufficient for the country’s short-term needs.

“Ukraine’s financing needs are significant,” Yellen said in remarks prepared for delivery at the Brussels Economic Forum.

The European Union is set to offer a new loan package to Ukraine on Wednesday to provide immediate liquidity, as well as commitments for longer-term reconstruction. While the short-term package is still being worked out, two officials with knowledge of the talks told Reuters they expect it to roughly cover Ukraine’s financial needs for two months.

The Canadian government announced on Tuesday that it had raised nearly $100 million in military aid for Ukraine – Canada’s largest donation of military equipment to the country since the Russian invasion began.

The $98 million donation will include 20,000 155mm artillery shells – NATO’s standard artillery shell – fuses and charge bags, Defense Minister Anita Anand said.