Russian military forces are on the verge of encircling a key industrial city in Ukraine, with fierce battles continuing to rage, The Guardian reports.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized the West for not doing enough to help Kyiv win the war.
Forty towns in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine were under Russian bombardment. Luhansk governor Sergiy Gaiday described fighting outside of Sievierodonetsk, which is a key military goal for Russia, saying it was “very difficult” and that Russian forces are bombarding the city with a “colossal amount of shelling” from the outskirts with mortars.
Gaiday said that the coming weeks will be decisive and that he believes Russia’s goal is to capture the Luhansk region no matter what the cost is.
Russia failed to seize the Ukrainian capital, and also failed to seize its second-largest city, Kharkiv, since invading in February.
Now Russia is attempting to take full control of the Donbas, which is comprised of two eastern provinces that Moscow claims on behalf of separatists.
Thousands of Russian troops have been poured into the region. They are attacking it from three sides, attempting to encircle Ukrainian forces that are holding out in Sievierodonetsk and its twin city, Lysychansk. The fall of the two cities would leave the whole province under Russian control. This is a key aim to the war for the Kremlin.
In his nightly video address last night, Zelensky said Russian troops “heavily outnumber us” in some parts of the east, and echoed pleas from his foreign minister to the World Economic Forum in Davos for the west to supply more weapons.
Zelensky said help from partners was needed, and above all, weapons for Ukraine.
Full help, without exceptions, without limits, enough to win,” Zelenskiy called for, calling out the international community for paying too much attention to Russia’s interests and too little to Ukraine’s.