Ukraine ignored Russia’s Ultimatum to surrender Severodonetsk:
Ukraine has defied a Russian ultimatum to hand over the besieged eastern city of Sievierodonetsk, raising concerns about the hundreds of residents trapped at the city’s Azot chemical plant. Russia had ordered Ukrainian soldiers to cease “senseless resistance and lay down arms” as of Wednesday morning, as Moscow now controls 80 percent of Sievierodonetsk, a city that has become a focal point of Russia’s advances in Ukraine’s east. On Wednesday, Moscow accused Ukraine of sabotaging preparations to build a humanitarian corridor to allow civilians to flee the conflict zone.
Ukraine had not officially responded to Moscow’s request to evacuate inhabitants from the Azot facility to Svatove, a city north of Sievierodonetsk controlled by pro-Russian forces. Ukraine completely Ignored Russia’s Ultimatum to surrender Severodonetsk.
Inside the Azot plant, more than 500 individuals, including 40 children, are trapped. Much of Sievierodonetsk, including its industrial area, has been reduced to ruins after weeks of Russian bombing. The shelling of the Azot facility recalls the horrific siege of the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol’s southern port, where hundreds of combatants and civilians sought refuge from Russian fire.
The situation in Azot is a “major concern,” according to Saviano Abreu, a spokesperson for the UN’s humanitarian affairs office.
The British defense ministry reported in its recent intelligence briefing that members of Ukraine’s armed forces and hundreds of civilians were sheltering in subterranean bunkers in the Azot factory. It was impossible to verify the assertion that members of Ukraine’s armed forces were sheltering there because Ukraine has not publicly acknowledged it.
Russia continues to make inroads in Sievierodonetsk, a major city in the country’s campaign for complete control of the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine. On Wednesday afternoon, the mayor of Sievierodonetsk, Oleksandr Stryuk, informed Ukrainian media that Russian forces were attempting to “advance towards the city center.”
“It’s a never-ending situation with partial victories and tactical retreats,” Struyk added. Meanwhile, despite the destruction of three bridges leading out of the city, Serhiy Haidai, the governor of the Luhansk region, reported on Facebook that 75 people had been evacuated from Sievierodonetsk.
“Evacuation is exceedingly tough due to the continuous shelling. 75 people were successfully evacuated by police officers and volunteers, and all of them are safe,” he said. “As long as there is an option to evacuate individuals, we will not stop.”
Off the battlefield, Joe Biden presented a new $1 billion (£825 million) package of equipment and ammunition for Ukraine, including more artillery, coastal anti-ship defense systems, and ammunition for artillery and advanced rocket systems that Ukraine already has.
Biden said he restated his “promise that the United States would stand by Ukraine as it defends its democracy and supports its sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of unwarranted Russian aggression” in a phone chat with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky.
In addition, Biden announced $225 million in humanitarian aid. Meanwhile, as NATO military ministers assembled in Brussels, Ukraine pursued greater European backing. On Twitter, Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to Zelenskiy, tweeted, “Brussels, we are waiting for a decision.”
Ukraine has only received 10% of the weapons it requested from the west, according to Anna Malyar, the country’s deputy defense minister. “No matter how hard Ukraine works, no matter how skilled our army is, we will not be able to win this war without the backing of our western friends,” she stated. In Russia, where Putin is set to deliver a key address on Friday at the annual St Petersburg international economic summit, Igor Denisov, a rare public voice of anti-war protest, has also arisen.
Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s former president, and a close Putin ally, further escalated his rhetoric against Ukraine, writing on his Telegram channel: “Who said Ukraine is even going to exist on the world map in two years?”
Source: The Guardian, and BBC.
The data is taken from the Guardian and BBC, as reported and edited by YDF Media Team.