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Ukraine rules out ceasefire as fighting intensifies in Donbas -Breaking


© Reuters. Local resident passes a damaged building following a rocket attack at a university campus in Bakhmut in the Donetsk Region, Ukraine on May 21st, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Barria


By Tom Balmforth, Pavel Polityuk and Terje Solsvik

(Reuters] – Ukraine ruled out a ceasefire with Moscow and Russia intensified its offensive in the eastern Donbas. Russia also stopped providing gas for Finland as Andrzej Duda, Polish President, prepares to address Ukraine’s Parliament on Sunday.

Russia, which is one of the two Donbas provinces, has launched an offensive major in Luhansk after the Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol ended for weeks.

Russian-backed separatists had already seized large swathes in Luhansk, Donetsk Province and other areas before the February 24th invasion. But Moscow is determined to seize any remaining Ukrainian territory in Donbas.

In his nightly address, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Ukrainian President said that the situation in Donbas was extremely challenging. He said that the Russian army tried to invade Sloviansk (Sievierodonetsk), but Ukrainian forces held off.

Mykhailo Podolyak, Zelenskiy’s adviser, ruled out a ceasefire. He also stated that Kyiv wouldn’t accept any agreement with Moscow that would require Kyiv to cede territory. According to him, making concessions could backfire on Ukraine as Russia would strike back even harder following any fighting break.

After concessions, the war won’t stop. In an interview with Reuters, Podolyak said that the lead negotiator for Ukraine, Podolyak told Reuters that it would be placed on pause “for some time.” They’ll launch a new offensive that is more violent and larger-scale.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and the Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi have recently called for an immediate ceasefire.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has a rare win after suffering a number of setbacks during nearly three years of battle.

Russia claimed that on Friday the Ukrainian forces who had been occupying Mariupol’s Azovstal steelworks gave up.

Russia now has complete control over Mariupol and can use it to link the Crimean Peninsula with Russia. Moscow captured this land route in 2014.

Ukrainian forces in the separatist-controlled regions of Luhansk and Donetsk said on Saturday they had repelled nine attacks and destroyed five tanks and 10 other armoured vehicles in the previous 24 hours.

According to the Ukrainians in a post on Facebook, they claimed that Russian forces had used aircraft, artillery tanks, rockets mortars and missiles throughout the front line of attack against civilian structures and residential areas. According to them, at least seven victims had been reported killed in Donetsk.

According to Serhiy Gaidai, the Luhansk governor Serhiy Gonai, Russian troops have destroyed a bridge crossing Siverskiy Donets River that connects Lysychansk with Sievierodonetsk. He stated that fighting was ongoing at the outskirts Sievierodonetsk, from the morning to the evening.

After failing to seize Kyiv, Sievierodonetsk is now part of an eastern Ukrainian pocket. Russia tried to get it overrun by Lysychansk on the Siverskiy Donets River.


Gazprom (MCX) Russia’s State Gas Company, said that it stopped exports of gas to Finland. Finland has rejected Moscow’s demand to pay in Russian roubles following the invasion.

This week, Sweden and Finland applied to NATO for military membership.

Gasum is a Finnish gas wholesaler owned by the Finnish State. The Finnish Government and individuals who consume gas in Finland said that they would be prepared for any Russian disruptions.

The majority of European supply agreements are in dollars or euros. Moscow stopped gas from being delivered to Poland and Bulgaria last month after the latter refused to accept new terms.

Western nations have also increased weapons supplies to Ukraine. Kyiv received an additional boost on Saturday when the U.S. President Joe Biden signed legislation to give nearly $40 billion in humanitarian, economic, and military aid.

Moscow claims that the US and its allies are waging a proxy war against Ukraine by using Western sanctions along with weapons deliveries to Kyiv. In the conflict that has decimated cities and forced millions of people from Ukraine, thousands have died.

Draghi called Zelenskiy on Saturday to confirm that he had stressed the necessity of additional sanctions on Russia as well as unblocking Ukrainian ports.

According to his office, Duda met Zelenskiy in Kyiv, and was the first head of the state to address the parliament directly since the invasion.