Ukraine takes a tentative step towards joining the EU when the Battle of Donbas reaches a “terrifying climax”


Kyiv — Ukraine will be accepted as a candidate to join the European Union on Thursday. This is a move to boost national morale as the fight against Russian troops in two eastern cities has reached what one official called a “fierce climax.”

The approval of the Kyiv government’s application by the EU Summit in Brussels is just the beginning of a year-long process, which represents a major geopolitical change.

After Russia’s President Vladimir Putin sent troops across the border in what is called a “special military operation” partially needed by the western invasion of what Russia considers to be a sphere of influence. Friday is four months.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged his allies to speed up the transportation of heavy weapons to rival Russia on the battlefield.

“We have to free our land and win, but faster, faster,” Zelensky said in a video address on Thursday.

He said Moscow’s massive aerial and artillery bombardment was aimed at destroying the entire Donbus area.

The exhaustion battle in the industrial center of Ukraine, Donbas, is of paramount importance in the two cities of Siverskyi Donetsk and Lysychansik, which straddle the Siverskyi Donets River in Luhansk Oblast.

Zelenskyy’s adviser, Oleksiy Arestovych, said the battle there “has entered a sort of terrifying climax.”

Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai said on Thursday that Ukrainian troops were guarding Sievierodonetsk and nearby Zolote and Vovchoyrovka settlements, while Russian troops occupied Loskutivka and Rai-Oleksandrivka in the south.

Hundreds of civilians are said to have been trapped in a chemical plant in Sieviero Donetsk while Ukraine and Russia, which control the bombed city, are fighting.

Moscow says the Ukrainian army in the city is surrounded and trapped. However, Guydai told Ukrainian television Wednesday that Russian troops did not have complete control of Severodonetsk.

Gaidai said all Lysychansk are within reach of Russian fire.

“To avoid the siege, our orders can order the troops to retreat to new positions. There may be a reorganization after last night,” he said.

Ukraine in Wa
On June 20, 2022, members of the Ukrainian army patrol an area of ​​the city of Sieviero Donetsk as Russia’s attacks on Ukraine continue. (Oleksandr Ratushniak / Reuters)

Citing Russian-backed separatists, TASS news outlets said Lysychans’k was now surrounded and blocked after the road connecting the city to the town of Siebielsk was taken.

Reuters could not confirm the report immediately.

The British Ministry of Defense said some Ukrainian troops had withdrawn, perhaps to avoid being surrounded.

“Russian troops are putting more and more pressure on Lysychans’-Sieviero Donetsk’s pockets as this creeping advance … but efforts to achieve a deeper siege to occupy western Donetsk are stalled. “There is,” said the ministry. Said On Twitter.

Zelenskyy said he would talk to 11 EU leaders about the Ukrainian candidacy on Wednesday and make another call on Thursday.

“History is moving forward,” said Ursula von der Reyen, chief executive officer of the European Union, ahead of the two-day EU summit in Brussels.

She added: “I’m not just talking about Putin’s war of aggression. I’m talking again about the wind of change that blows across our continent.”

Not only Ukraine, but also Moldova and Georgia are seeking accession to the EU, which will be the most ambitious expansion since welcoming the post-Cold War Eastern European countries.

Russia has long opposed the close relationship between Ukraine, a member of the former Soviet Union, and Western groups such as the European Union and the NATO military alliance.

Diplomats say Ukraine will take more than a decade to meet the criteria for EU accession.

By Pavel Polityuk and Vitalii Hnidyi

Reuters

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