Ukraine still fighting for Severodonetsk, EU approves 6th package of sanctions against Russia

Ukrainian troops, including members of the International Legion, travel by road in the combat zone near Severodonetsk, Luhansk Oblast.
Ukrainian troops, including members of the International Legion, travel by road in the combat zone near Severodonetsk, Luhansk Oblast.

7.30 p.m: A battle for Severodonetsk is ongoing. Today Ukrainians pushed Russian troops away from two villages near Severodonetsk. Street fighting continues in the city, Luhansk governor Serhiy Hayday has reported.

"Now Luhansk region is an outpost of Ukraine, and a huge influx of Russians is fighting in Luhansk region. Today fierce battles are taking place in Severodonetsk," Hayday said.

"By the way, the Kadyrovites have already reported that they have captured the city. This is a lie because there are fights in the city. Heavy fighting."

7.27 p.m: A hospital in Borodianka, a town in Kyiv Oblast, that was almost destroyed by Russian troops, sets solar panels to energize the renewed work. 

CEO of Tesla and Space X Elon Musk handed over those solar stations to Ukraine, which now ensure the operation of critical infrastructure facilities in the Kyiv region, Ukraine's Digital Transformation Minister Mukhailo Fedorov said.

4.41 p.m: The Russians have increased the shelling of Mykolaiv, governor Vitaly Kim has reported.

"The shelling has intensified, including from artillery. There are civilian casualties and many wounded. Now the situation is tense," Kim said, revealing no more details.

4.32 p.m: The European Union approved a sixth package of anti-Russian sanctions imposed in response to Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. 

EU countries will stop importing Russian oil transported by sea for six months and from importing oil products for eight months.

Teh sanctions do not yet apply to oil pipelines. The EU Council noted that Bulgaria and Croatia will receive temporary exemptions from the EU's ban on offshore oil and oil products imports from Russia.

EU sanctions also include the disconnection from the SWIFT international bank transactions system for Sberbank, Rosselkhozbank, MKB, and the Belarusian Development and Reconstruction Bank.

The EU also banned from broadcasting on its territory the Russian television channels Russia-24, RTR-planet, and TV Center.

The sixth package of sanctions includes a ban on consulting, auditing, and PR services for Russia, which restricts the provision of cloud services, the EU Council added.

It's been the longest 100 days for many Ukrainians. After 100 days of full-scale war, Ukraine's direct losses exceed $600 billion, of which more than $105 billion is infrastructure damage.

The Ukrainian state has lost 35% of GDP, more than 200 factories, and most importantly - tens of thousands of lives of civilians and thousands of fallen defenders of Ukraine.

Although more and more voices in the West are pushing Ukraine to start negotiations with the Russians, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russia is not ready for real negotiations and instead is still eager to dictate and push Ukraine to give up its territories to the invaders.

Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts remain the epicenter of the heaviest fighting. Lyman and Severodonetsk have joined Mariupol, Rubizhe, Popasna, and Volnovkha in the tragic list of Ukrainian cities and towns that have been almost destroyed by Russian shelling.

While still waiting for more heavy Western weapons to arrive, Ukrainian soldiers continue to fight for every inch of land against overwhelming Russian forces, armed with artillery, aviation, and tanks.  Although Russian media have claimed Severodonetsk has fallen, Ukrainian forces have managed to counterattack, taken PoWs, and are now back in the city center, pushing the Russians back, the Ukrainian Army General Staff has reported.

In fighting near Popasna, Luhansk Oblast, units of the 150th Motorized Rifle Division of the 8th All-Russian Army suffered significant losses - at least 50% of personnel, weapons, and equipment, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces.

In general, the personnel of the enemy is demoralized, due to the constant postponement of leave. This leads to the refusal of personnel to participate in hostilities.

Read also: Russians shell Lviv Oblast, continue offensive in Severodonetsk, Ukrainian forces counterattack in Kherson Oblast

In the Bakhmut direction of Donetsk Oblast, the enemy shelled the areas of Pokrovske, New York, Zolote, Komyshuvakha, Mykolayivka, Berestove, Belogorivka and Vrubivka. Near the latter, the occupiers conducted unsuccessful assault operations.

In the occupied territories of Donetsk Oblast, Kherson and Zaporizhzhiya Oblast, the Russians have been trying to set an alternative reality, blocking all the connections with Ukraine, imposing Russian laws, and setting up puppet authorities. In Kherson, they are preparing people for the holding of a referendum on joining Russia.

Although Dmitrii Peskov, the Kremlin's spokesman, publicly claimed that people would decide their future, the Russians have cut the internet and mobile connections for the city to limit access to Ukrainian news.

Instead, they have been conducting psy-ops against the Ukrainian population, announcing through loudspeakers that Ukraine has abandoned them and there is no point in resisting the occupation.

However, the Ukrainian guerilla movement is strong in the occupied territories.

In Melitopol, the occupied city of Zaporizhzhya, partisans have eliminated more than 100 Russian occupiers, mayor Ivan Fedorov said in a statement.

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