As Russia Makes Life Hell In East, EU Debates Granting Ukraine Candidacy

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As Russia Makes Life Hell In East, EU Debates Granting Ukraine Candidacy

Lysychansk - located conscionable crossed the Donets stream - is present coming nether heavier bombardment.

Kyiv:

EU leaders volition stitchery successful Brussels Thursday to sermon calls to formally assistance war-torn Ukraine "candidate status" to articulation the bloc, arsenic Russian forces dilatory beforehand successful the eastbound Donbas portion contempt fierce absorption from Kyiv's military.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said helium had been conducting a "telephone marathon" connected his country's behalf successful the run-up to the meeting, making his lawsuit to 11 European leaders connected Wednesday alone.

"We are preparing for the historical determination of the European Council. There are lone a fewer hours remaining earlier it," helium said successful his regular address.

But portion the European Commission-backed candidacy is wide expected to beryllium approved, immoderate members person been lukewarm astir Ukraine's status, and immoderate accession process is apt to instrumentality years if not decades.

On the crushed successful eastbound Ukraine's Donbas, monolithic Russian bombardments are making beingness "hell", Kyiv said Wednesday, portion insisting its soldiers would clasp connected "as agelong arsenic necessary".

Moscow's troops person been pummelling the battleground Lugansk portion and the strategically important metropolis of Severodonetsk for weeks and are dilatory advancing, contempt fierce absorption from the outgunned Ukrainian military.

With President Vladimir Putin's forces tightening their grip connected Severodonetsk, its duplicate metropolis of Lysychansk -- located conscionable crossed the Donets stream -- is present coming nether heavier bombardment.

Taking the 2 cities would springiness Moscow power of the full of Lugansk, allowing Russia to property further into Donbas.

"The Russian service is... conscionable destroying everything" successful Lysychansk, Sergiy Gaiday, politician of the Lugansk region, which includes some cities, wrote connected Telegram.

"It's conscionable hellhole retired there," aft 4 months of shelling successful Severodonetsk, helium wrote later.

"Our boys are holding their positions and volition proceed to clasp connected arsenic agelong arsenic necessary," helium added.

Pro-Russian separatists claimed they were adjacent to surrounding some Lysychansk and Severodonetsk.

"Over the past respective days, tremendous enactment has been accomplished," Andrei Marochko, an serviceman successful the separatist service of Lugansk, told Russian authorities television.

'Only grannies left'

After being pushed backmost from Kyiv and different parts of Ukraine pursuing their February invasion, Moscow is seeking to prehend a immense eastbound swathe of the country.

But regular bombardment continues elsewhere.

The northeastern metropolis of Kharkiv adjacent the Russian borderline was adjacent bare connected Wednesday, AFP reporters said, a time aft shelling by Moscow's forces killed 5 radical there.

Leyla Shoydhry, a young pistillate successful a parkland adjacent the opera house, said the concern was "very bad".

"Last nighttime the gathering adjacent to excavation collapsed from the bombardment portion I was sleeping," she said.

Roman Pohuliay, a 19-year-old successful a pinkish sweatshirt, said astir residents had fled the city.

"Only the grannies are left," helium said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky connected Wednesday again pressed for the accelerated proviso of arms from Western allies, having earlier accused the Russian service of "brutal and cynical" shelling successful the eastbound Kharkiv region, wherever the politician said 15 radical had been killed successful a day.

As Ukraine awaits the transportation of precocious rocket systems, a caller study from the Institute for the Study of War suggests its usage of drones, a cardinal origin successful aboriginal occurrence against Russian forces, is progressively being hampered by improvements to Moscow's air-defence capabilities.

In the cardinal metropolis of Zaporizhzhia, meanwhile, women were grooming to usage Kalashnikov battle rifles successful municipality combat arsenic Russian forces edged nearer.

"When you tin bash something, it's not truthful scary to instrumentality a instrumentality weapon successful your hands," said Ulyana Kiyashko, 29, aft moving done an improvised combat portion successful a basement.

Separately, Iulia Tserkovnikova, lawyer for captured British combatant Shaun Pinner has told Russia's TASS quality bureau that she and her unit are preparing an entreaty of his caller decease sentence.

Pinner, on with chap British national Aiden Aslin and Moroccan Brahim Saadoun, were sentenced to decease by pro-Moscow separatists successful the breakaway Donetsk People's Republic earlier this month.

The trio were accused of being hired mercenaries, a statement Russia has broadly applied to foreigners volunteers warring for Kyiv.

G7 to 'increase pressure'

Away from the battlefield, a elder US authoritative successful Washington said President Joe Biden and different Group of Seven leaders holding a acme this play successful Germany would denote caller measures to punish Russia for the invasion.

Moscow this week summoned Brussels' ambassador successful a quality with EU subordinate Lithuania implicit the country's restrictions connected obstruction postulation to the Russian outpost of Kaliningrad.

The territory, annexed from Germany pursuing World War II, is astir 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometres) from Moscow, bordering Lithuania and Poland.

By blocking goods arriving from Russia, Lithuania says it is simply adhering to European Union-wide sanctions connected Moscow.

The United States made wide its committedness to Lithuania arsenic NATO ally, portion Germany urged Russia not to "violate planetary law" by retaliating.

On Wednesday, a Turkish cargo vessel near the Russian-occupied metropolis of Mariupol connected Ukraine's Sea of Azov coast.

Moscow and Ankara person negotiated for weeks towards getting millions of tonnes of desperately needed atom retired of the warfare portion and connected to Africa and the Middle East.

But it was not instantly wide whether the Azov Concord was carrying wheat.

(Except for the headline, this communicative has not been edited by NDTV unit and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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