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War in Ukraine: Recent Developments

#War #Ukraine #Developments

Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

– The fate of Donbass is at stake in Severodonetsk: Zelenskyi –

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says the fate of the eastern industrial heartland of Donbass depends on the fierce battle over the city of Severodonetsk, most of which has fallen to Russian forces.

In his evening address to the nation, Zelenskyi said the battle was “one of the most difficult” of the war.

“In many ways, the fate of our Donbass will be decided there.”

Russian forces have been concentrating their firepower on Severodonetsk and its sister city Lysyhansk across the river for weeks.

A defiant Lugansk governor, Sergiy Gaiday, says Ukrainian forces could recapture Severodonetsk “in two to three days” if they receive long-range artillery promised by the US and Britain.

Hundreds of civilians are reportedly taking shelter at a chemical plant in the city’s industrial zone, which was the target of Russian attacks overnight.

– UN warns of ‘unprecedented’ hunger –

UN chief Antonio Guterres says the war threatens to unleash “an unprecedented wave of hunger and misery” as talks on unblocking Ukrainian and Russian agricultural exports trapped by the war remain deadlocked.

Guterres said that this year’s food crisis is about the “lack of access” to food, but next year could be about the “lack of food” itself, saying 1.6 billion people are at risk of being affected .

“There is only one way to stop this gathering storm: the Russian invasion of Ukraine must end,” he said in a speech.

The UN is trying to negotiate a deal that would allow Ukraine to resume grain shipments from the country’s Black Sea ports – currently under a Russian blockade – in exchange for lifting sanctions on Russian food and fertilizers.

Turkey has agreed to provide naval escorts from Ukrainian ports, but Kyiv wants more security guarantees.

– Call for the exclusion of Russia from the Food Agency –

Zelenskyy calls for Russia’s expulsion from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and says Moscow is to blame for global food shortages.

“There can be no discussion about extending Russia’s membership of the FAO. What can Russia do when it is causing at least 400 million and possibly more than a billion people to starve?” Zelensky said during a meeting of the OECD’s Club of Leading Developed and Emerging Economies.

– Russia begins Baltic exercises –

Dozens of Russian ships are taking part in naval exercises in the Baltic Sea, three weeks after Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO.

Russia’s defense ministry has announced that 60 ships and 40 aircraft will take part in the “defense of sea routes and naval bases” exercises, with further exercises taking place on land in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.

Should Sweden and Finland’s NATO bids, which are currently blocked by Turkey, be approved, Russia would be the only country on the Baltic Sea outside of the western military alliance.

– Almost five million refugees –

According to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, almost five million Ukrainians have been registered as refugees across Europe since the Russian invasion.

“The war in Ukraine has caused one of the largest displacement crises in the world,” says the agency.

According to the International Organization for Migration, another eight million people are fleeing within Ukraine themselves.

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