Airstrike hits chemical plant in Sievierodonetsk, officials say

An airstrike has hit a chemical plant in Sievierodonetsk, a city in east Ukraine, Ukrainian officials wrote on Telegram late Tuesday afternoon.

Serhiy Haidai, Luhansk’s regional governor said Russians hit “a tank with nitric acid at a chemical plant”, while urging residents not to come out of hiding due to toxic fumes.

Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Kyiv’s ministry of internal affairs, shared a similar message on Telegram, alongside an image of large, pink clouds of smoke rising overhead buildings.

Earlier we reported Russian forces control “around half” of the city, a day after officials said Russian shelling had been so intense that it was not possible to assess casualties and damage.

This liveblog is closing now. Thank you for reading. Our latest wrap of events on the ground is here, and you can see all our Ukraine coverage here.

Summary

It’s approaching 3 am in Ukraine. Here’s where things currently stand.

  • Russian forces now control of most of the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk. The governor of Ukraine’s Luhansk province has said as heavy fighting continued in and around the key city and civilians were told to stay underground. Serhiy Gaidai said in an online post late on Tuesday that Russian shelling had made it impossible to deliver humanitarian supplies or evacuate people.
  • Zelenskiy has blasted the “madness” of bombing a chemical plant in Sievierodonetsk, after an airstrike hit the factory. “Given the presence of large-scale chemical production in Sievierodonetsk, the Russian army’s strikes there, including blind air bombing, are just crazy…it is no longer surprising that for the Russian military, for Russian commanders, for Russian soldiers, any madness is absolutely acceptable.” Local officials said the strike hit a nitric acid tank, and posted images of pink smoke billowing.
  • Zelenskiy said Ukraine’s military forces have had some successes near Kherson and in parts of the Kharkiv region. In late-night remarks, Zelenskiy addressed the military situation and outlined some of Ukraine’s advances.
  • Ukraine welcomed EU sanctions, but criticised the “unacceptable” delay. Speaking alongside Slovakia’s president Zuzana Caputova in Kyiv, Zelenskiy noted that 50 days have passed between the 5th and 6th sanction packages.
  • Ukraine is working on an international United Nations-led operation with naval partners to ensure a safe trade route for food exports, according to Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba who said Russia is playing “hunger games with the world by blocking Ukrainian food exports”.
  • Ukraine’s giant seed bank near battlefields is in danger of being destroyed. The genetic code for nearly 2,000 crops rests in underground vaults based in Kharkiv, north-eastern Ukraine, which has come under intense bombing from Russia forces. Read more of The Guardian’s coverage how vital seed banks are in the climate crisis here and here.
  • The African Union warned EU leaders that Moscow’s blockade of Ukraine’s ports risks “a catastrophic scenario” of food shortages and price rises. Senegal’s president, Macky Sall, who chairs the union, said “the worst is perhaps ahead of us” if current global food supply trends continue.
  • Ukraine to prosecute 80 suspected war criminals, said Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Iryna Venediktova. It was announced Tuesday as representatives of a group of countries investigating Russian war crimes and international criminal court prosecutor, Karim Khan, met at The Hague.
  • A senior Russian lawmaker has suggested kidnapping a Nato defence minister. In an interview late on Monday, Oleg Morozov, first elected to the Russian parliament in 1993 and a member of the dominant United Russia party, said on Rossiya-1 state TV he has a “fantastical plot” that a Nato war minister will travel to Kyiv and wake up in Moscow.
  • Sanctions against Russia are directed at ordinary citizens and motivated by hatred, the former president Dmitry Medvedev has said. Medvedev, who advises Vladimir Putin on national security matters, said in a post on Telegram on Tuesday that the “endless tango of economic sanctions” won’t touch the political elite but have incurred losses for big business.
  • Russia has further cut off gas supplies to Europe. State energy giant Gazprom turned off the taps to a top Dutch trader and halted flows to some companies in Denmark and Germany. The intensification of the economic battle on Tuesday over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine follows the EU’s overnight decision to place an embargo on most Russian oil imports as part of its financial sanctions against the Kremlin.

The US is expected to announce on Wednesday that it will send Ukraine a small number of high-tech, medium-range rocket systems.

Associated Press reports that those are a critical weapon that Ukrainian leaders have been begging for as they struggle to stall Russian progress in Donbas. The US has been trying to walk a delicate line: helping Ukraine, without escalating the war by providing weapons that could allow Ukraine to hit targets deep inside Russia.

President Joe Biden said on Monday the U.S. would not send Ukraine “rocket systems that can strike into Russia.”

The new leader of the European parliament’s centre-right says he backs Ukraine EU membership.

German politician Manfred Weber was elected leader of Europe’s struggling main group of conservative parties on Tuesday. AFP reports that on Ukraine’s bid for membership, he said:

“Yes, you are welcomed, yes, it’s worth to fight, yes, you can become a member of the European Union”

Kyiv has been pushing for member status, and expressed frustration at some EU countries for not wanting to fast-forward the process.

A governor in Donetsk has urged people who remain to flee and “save your lives”, as more civilians die in bombings. An overnight rocket attack left at least three people dead and six wounded in the city of Sloviansk, Donetsk regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said Tuesday on Telegram.

“There are no safe places in the Donetsk region, so I call again: evacuate – save your lives,” he said.

Four more civilians died and seven were injured in Donetsk on Tuesday, Kyrylenko said in a later Telegram post.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has accused Russia of “madness” after Russian troops bombed a chemical plant in the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk. Zelenskiy condemned the bombing in a video message, saying:

“Given the presence of large-scale chemical production in Sievierodonetsk, the Russian army’s strikes there, including blind air bombing, are just crazy.”

But on the 97th day of such a war, it is no longer surprising that for the Russian military, for Russian commanders, for Russian soldiers, any madness is absolutely acceptable.”

According to AFP, regional authorities said on Tuesday that enemy forces had hit a nitric acid tank at a chemical plant and warning people to stay indoors. Sievierodonetsk is an industrial hub, and has come under massive fire from Russia.
Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Kyiv’s ministry of internal affairs, shared this image of smoke rising from the plant below – the Guardian has not independently verified the image.

Catch up

  • Russian forces have taken control of most of the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk. The governor of Ukraine’s Luhansk province has said as heavy fighting continued in and around the key city and civilians were told to stay underground. Serhiy Gaidai said in an online post late on Tuesday that Russian shelling had made it impossible to deliver humanitarian supplies or evacuate people.
  • Ukrraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Ukraine’s military forces have had some successes near Kherson and in parts of the Kharkiv region. In late-night remarks, Zelenskiy addressed the military situation and outlined some of Ukraine’s advances.
  • Ukraine welcomed EU sanctions, but criticised the “unacceptable” delay. Speaking alongside Slovakia’s president Zuzana Caputova in Kyiv, president Volodymyr Zelenskiy noted that 50 days have passed between the 5th and 6th sanction packages.
  • Ukraine is working on an international United Nations-led operation with naval partners to ensure a safe trade route for food exports, according to Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba who said Russia is playing “hunger games with the world by blocking Ukrainian food exports”.
  • Ukraine’s giant seed bank near battlefields is in danger of being destroyed. The genetic code for nearly 2,000 crops rests in underground vaults based in Kharkiv, north-eastern Ukraine, which has come under intense bombing from Russia forces. Read more of The Guardian’s coverage how vital seed banks are in the climate crisis here and here.
  • The African Union warned EU leaders that Moscow’s blockade of Ukraine’s ports risks “a catastrophic scenario” of food shortages and price rises. Senegal’s president, Macky Sall, who chairs the union, said “the worst is perhaps ahead of us” if current global food supply trends continue.
  • Ukraine to prosecute 80 suspected war criminals, said Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Iryna Venediktova. It was announced Tuesday as representatives of a group of countries investigating Russian war crimes and international criminal court prosecutor, Karim Khan, met at The Hague.
  • A senior Russian lawmaker has suggested kidnapping a Nato defence minister. In an interview late on Monday, Oleg Morozov, first elected to the Russian parliament in 1993 and a member of the dominant United Russia party, said on Rossiya-1 state TV he has a “fantastical plot” that a Nato war minister will travel to Kyiv and wake up in Moscow.
  • Sanctions against Russia are directed at ordinary citizens and motivated by hatred, the former president Dmitry Medvedev has said. Medvedev, who advises Vladimir Putin on national security matters, said in a post on Telegram on Tuesday that the “endless tango of economic sanctions” won’t touch the political elite but have incurred losses for big business.
  • Russia has further cut off gas supplies to Europe. State energy giant Gazprom turned off the taps to a top Dutch trader and halted flows to some companies in Denmark and Germany. The intensification of the economic battle on Tuesday over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine follows the EU’s overnight decision to place an embargo on most Russian oil imports as part of its financial sanctions against the Kremlin.

– Geneva Abdul, Guardian staff

Russian troops control most of Sievierodonetsk

Peter Beaumont

Peter Beaumont

Russian forces have taken control of most of the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk but have not surrounded it, the governor of Ukraine’s Luhansk province has said as heavy fighting continued in and around the key city and civilians were told to stay underground.

Serhiy Gaidai said in an online post late on Tuesday that Russian shelling had made it impossible to deliver humanitarian supplies or evacuate people.

Guardian graphic

Earlier, the city’s mayor, Oleksandr Striuk, said artillery bombardments were threatening the lives of the thousands of civilians still sheltering in the ruined city, with evacuations not possible.

“Half of the city has been captured by the Russians and fierce street fighting is under way,” Striuk said. “The situation is very serious and the city is essentially being destroyed ruthlessly block by block.

“The Ukrainian military continues to resist this frenzied push and aggression by Russian forces. Unfortunately … the city has been split in half. But at the same time the city still defends itself. It is still Ukrainian,” he said, advising those still trapped inside to stay in cellars.

Read more:

Russia cuts gas supplies to Netherlands and firms in Denmark and Germany

Joanna Partridge

Joanna Partridge

Russia has further cut off gas supplies to Europe, after state energy giant Gazprom turned off the taps to a top Dutch trader and halted flows to some companies in Denmark and Germany.

The intensification of the economic battle on Tuesday over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine follows the EU’s overnight decision to place an embargo on most Russian oil imports as part of its financial sanctions against the Kremlin.

EU leaders said the ban would immediately impact 75% of Russian oil imports, rising to 90% by the end of the year.

Gazprom extended its gas cuts on Tuesday by stopping supply to GasTerra, which buys and trades gas on behalf of the Dutch government.

It later said it would also cut off gas flows to the Danish energy firm Ørsted and to Shell Energy for its contract to supply gas to Germany, after both companies failed to make payments in roubles.

GasTerra said it had found contracts elsewhere for the supply of the 2bn cubic metres of gas it had been expecting to receive from Gazprom between now and October.

Ahead of the late-night talks in Brussels, Denmark had signalled it expected its Russian gas supply to end. However, Ørsted said on Monday that a gas cut would not immediately put the country’s gas supplies at risk.

Moscow has already halted supplies of natural gas to Bulgaria, Poland and Finland, after they refused to pay in Russian roubles.

Read more:

President Zelenskiy said Ukraine’s military forces have had some successes near the city of Kherson and are advancing in parts of the Kharkiv region, reports Reuters.

In late-night remarks, Zelenskiy addressed the military situation and outlined some of Ukraine’s advances.

He added that the Russian army still has a significant advantage in terms of equipment and personnel:

Our defenders are showing the utmost courage and remain masters of the situation at the front despite the fact the Russian army has a significant advantage in terms of equipment and numbers.




Reference-www.theguardian.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.