Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has confirmed Kremlin’s forces are now in control of 20 percent of the country as the conflict marks its 100th day on Friday, June 3.
“As of today, about 20 percent of our territory is under the control of Russia, almost 125 thousand square kilometers. This is much larger than the area of all the Benelux countries combined,” he said in a video message for the Luxembourg parliament.
Zelensky told the members of the parliament that all combat-ready Russian military formations are involved in the aggression and that the front line extends for over 1,000 kilometers. As it now appears, Russia is ready to seize the key city of Severodonetsk in Donbas despite the ongoing street-to-street fighting. If subdued, this would put the Russian army in control over all of Luhansk province.
Meanwhile, United Kingdom defense officials said Russia has already seized most of Severondonetsk and is making steady local gains, enabled by a heavy concentration of artillery.
During the said video address to Luxembourg lawmakers, the Ukrainian leader issued a high Russian death toll, claiming that more than 30,000 Russian troops have died, which may be in contrast to their earlier declaration that there is a steady Russian advance. He did not disclose Ukrainian casualties.
“That’s greater than the death toll of the Soviet Union in 10 years of war in Afghanistan, greater than Russia’s death toll in two Chechen wars,” Zelensky said.
After presenting her credentials to Zelensky, new U.S. ambassador to Kyiv Bridget Brink said the Biden administration would help Ukraine “prevail against Russian aggression.”
Western nations have pumped arms and military supplies into Ukraine as reinforcement. The U.S. just announced granting $700 million package of sophisticated weapons, including more advanced rocket launch systems to be sent in a few weeks. These units can simultaneously fire multiple precision-guided munitions on targets up to 80 kilometers away. (Related: Russia’s nuclear forces hold drill as Biden approves more military aid for Ukraine.)
U.S. President Joe Biden believes that “there’s going to have to be a negotiated settlement” to end the war. But he made it clear that he’s not going tell the Ukrainians what they should and shouldn’t do or if they should surrender the territory in exchange for peace.
While Russia has advanced to control one-fifth of Ukraine on the 100th day of the siege, the war is still far from over.
In the eastern Donbas region, Russian forces are currently making gains in a grinding artillery battle. Meanwhile, Ukraine is waiting for the West’s shipments of longer-range and heavier weaponry. Cease-fire negotiations are on hold.
The conflict brings casualties to thousands and more than two million Ukrainians have crossed back into the country since violence shifted away from the capital, Kyiv. European Union’s border agency Frontex claimed that more people have started going back to Ukraine than are leaving. However, United Nations refugee agency said Ukraine has 7.1 million people displaced within the country and more than 6.5 million refugees.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that the scale of destruction in Ukraine “defies comprehension.” People are living with the anguish of not knowing what happened to their loved ones, ICRC Director General Robert Mardini said.
In other developments, 60 percent of infrastructure and residential buildings in Lysychansk have been destroyed by attacks, according to a local official; Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko, who was evacuated before the city fell, told reporters in Kyiv that 100,000 residents in his devastated port city remain under Russian control; and about 800 people, including children, are hiding underneath the Azot chemical factory in Sievierodonetsk, according to Serhiy Haidai, governor of Luhansk.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the West of “shifting the responsibility” on Russia for a looming global food crisis. Kremlin blamed the blockages of food shipments on Western sanctions and on Ukraine’s defensive mining of Black Sea ports. After a meeting with Putin, Senegal’s President and leader of the African Union Macky Sall tweeted that Russia “expressed readiness to facilitate” wheat exports.
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Watch the below video as President Volodymyr Zelensky said 20 percent of Ukrainian territory is now under Russia’s control.
This video is from the Chinese taking down EVIL CCP channel on Brighteon.com.