Rebels escalate battle for Lysychansk, grain ship abandons Mariupol

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Once a day, NU.nl gives you an overview of the situation in Ukraine. This time: pro-Russian separatists are stepping up fighting around the city of Lysychansk, a Turkish cargo ship carrying grain has left the port city of Mariupol, and Dutch armored howitzers have arrived in Ukraine.

Pro-Russian separatists in the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), where heavy fighting has been going on for weeks, claimed responsibility for the encirclement of a group of Ukrainian soldiers, a spokesman told the agency. Russian press. CASS

The Ukrainian army reported via its own news channels that a Russian attack on Novobachmoetivka, north of the city of Donetsk, was repelled on Wednesday. The invading troops advance towards Bashmoet, also in the Donetsk region.

The battle for Severodonetsk continues to be fierce. In addition to the city itself, the Russian Air Force also bombed the villages of Verkhnokamyanka, near Lysychansk, and Sirotin.

Many places elsewhere in the Donets basin, from Kramatorsk to Zaporizhzhia, were attacked again. According to Kyiv, the enemy is trying to improve its position near Slaviansk with targeted attacks and to prevent Ukrainian soldiers from reaching the Russian border from Kharkiv.

Ukrainian soldiers dig a trench on the outskirts of Lysychansk.

Turkish freighter leaves Mariupol

A Turkish cargo ship was loaded with grain from the Ukrainian port of Mariupol after negotiations between Turkey and Russia. It fell to Russian troops and pro-Russian militias from eastern Ukraine in May after heavy fighting. The ship, the Azov Concord, is the first foreign cargo ship to leave port since then, according to the Turkish Defense Ministry.

A Turkish delegation had traveled to Moscow to discuss grain exports from Ukrainian ports. The war in Ukraine has made shipping to and from that country virtually impossible.

Turkey has good relations with Ukraine and Russia and tries, through negotiations, to get the warring parties to allow exports of, for example, Ukrainian wheat through the Sea of ​​Azov and the Black Sea. . Turkey is also trying to mediate in the struggle.

More than eight million people have fled Ukraine

More than eight million people have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded the neighboring country on February 24. Conversely, more than 2.8 million people have crossed the border, according to data from the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.

Poland is the main destination, but many have gone to other European countries, including the Netherlands. More than 5.2 million Ukrainian refugees have applied for protected status in Europe, according to UNHCR. More and more Ukrainians are returning to their country, which is relatively safe in the western regions as the Russian army concentrates on the Donets basin in the east.

Ukraine had more than 41 million inhabitants at the start of the war, not counting the inhabitants of the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia.

Dutch armored howitzers arrived in Ukraine

The armored howitzers promised by the Netherlands to Ukraine have now arrived in the country, Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced on Wednesday during a debate in the House of Representatives. In recent weeks, Ukrainian soldiers have been trained in Germany to operate heavy artillery.

The Netherlands and Germany donate five and seven armored howitzers to Ukraine respectively. On Tuesday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov announced that German armored howitzers had arrived in his country. They are desperately needed in the battle in the east.

The armored howitzer is the heaviest artillery in the Dutch army. The armored howitzer can hit targets up to 50 kilometers away.

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