Ukraine has marked 100 days since Russia’s invasion started on Friday, with fighting raging across the east of the nation, where Moscow’s forces are tightening their grip on the Donbas.
The sombre milestone came as Kyiv has made an announcement that Russia was now in control of a 5th of Ukrainian territory, including Crimea and parts of the Donbas seized in 2014.
After being repulsed from around the capital, President Vladimir Putin’s military has set its sights on capturing the eastern region of Ukraine, prompting warnings the war could drag on.
After White House discussions with US President Joe Biden, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg alerted Thursday that Ukraine’s allies needed to brace for a gruelling “war of attrition.”
While reiterating that NATO does not want direct confrontation with Russia, Stoltenberg said, “We just have to be prepared for the long haul.”
In spite of a slower than expected advance, Moscow’s forces are making progress- President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Luxembourg legislators about 20 per cent of Ukrainian territory was now in Russian hands.
Since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, thousands of people have been killed, and millions were forced to escape. Up to 100 Ukrainian troops are dying every day on the battlefield, as per Zelenskyy.
Street wars are raging in the industrial hub of Severodonetsk in Lugansk, part of the Donbas.
Russia already controls over 80 per cent of the strategic city but its defenders are putting up stiff resistance, with Lugansk regional governor Sergit Gaiday vowing Ukrainian military will fight “until the end.”
European biggest chemical plants, Severodonetsk’s Azot factory, was attacked by Russian troops who fired on one of its administrative buildings and a warehouse where methanol was stored.