Ukraine’s battle against Russian troops in the eastern region of the Donbas will determine the course of the war, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Tuesday, asking his nation to stay strong in the face of Moscow’s devastating attack against two key cities.
As the outcome of the conflict hangs in the balance, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg endorsed Ukraine’s increasingly desperate calls for more weapons, urging allies to speed up deliveries to Kyiv.
Russian forces have intensified efforts to cut off Ukrainian troops remaining in the industrial hub of Severodonetsk, destroying all three bridges which connect it across a river to the twin city of Lysychansk.
“Unfortunately, there are painful losses. But we must stay strong. This is our nation,” Zelensky said in a video address Tuesday evening.
“Hanging in there in Donbas is crucial. Donbas is the key to deciding who will dominate in the coming weeks.”
Around 500 civilians were taking shelter under “heavy fire” in the Azot chemical plant in Severodonetsk, the head of the city’s administration, Oleksandr Stryuk, told Ukrainian televisio