Russia military operation News
Russian officials had announced a humanitarian corridor from the Azot plant a day earlier, but said they would take civilians to areas controlled by Russian, not Ukrainian, forces. The Ukrainian governor of Luhansk, Serhiy Haidai said that “heavy fighting in Sievierodonetsk continues today as well.”
Russia has concentrated its invasion force around Sievierodonetsk. Sievierodonetsk and its twin city Lysychansk on the opposite bank of the Siverskyi Donets river are the last Ukrainian-controlled parts of Luhansk province. "They (the Russians) are dying like flies ... fierce fighting continues inside Sievierodonetsk," Luhansk governor Serhiy Gaidai said.
Zelenskyy visited the frontline positions of the Ukrainian military during a working trip to the eastern city of Kharkiv. Russian forces stormed Sievierodonetsk after trying unsuccessfully to encircle the strategic city. Russia has kept up its bombardment of the northeastern city from afar, and explosions could be heard shortly after Zelenskyy's visit.
Ukraine is one of the world's largest exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil, but the war and a Russian blockade of its ports has halted much of that flow. Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said the West “must cancel the unlawful decisions that hamper chartering ships and exporting grain.” His comments appeared to be an effort to lump the blockade of Ukrainian exports with what Russia says are its difficulties in moving its own goods.
Russia is trying to take full control of the Donbas, comprised of two eastern provinces Moscow claims on behalf of separatists. Ukraine`s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba accused Moscow of using "blackmail" tactics to secure a relaxation of sanctions. A missile blasted a crater in a railway track and damaged nearby buildings in Pokrovsk.