Ukraine begs for air defense as Russia turns its gaze on Lysyansk

  • Zhelensky says Ukraine needs a modern air defense system
  • G7 leaders hope to emphasize unity
  • Russian forces attacked Lysyansk

KYIV, June 27 (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky has urged Western leaders to provide anti-aircraft security forces to his country as Russian forces attack the last large city in the eastern Luhansk province under the control of Ukrainian troops, Lysyansk.

Addressing the Seven Group Summit in the Bavarian Alps via video link, Zhelensky called for help in exporting grain from Ukraine and imposing additional sanctions on Russia, a European official said.

When the leaders met, Russian forces bombed the Kremlin’s immediate warhead, Lisyansk, following the fall of neighboring Siverodonetsk over the weekend.

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Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai said the city was suffering “catastrophic” damage from the shelling and urged the public to evacuate immediately.

“The situation in the city is very difficult,” Guido wrote in the Telegram news app.

Before addressing a gathering of G7 leaders at the Schloss Elmaua resort, Zelenskiy stressed the need for more weapons.

“If the partners are really allies, they should go fast, not spectators. Delays in transferring weapons to our state, any restrictions – this is really a call to repeat attacks on Russia,” he said in recent daily news releases. With that he mobilizes his comrades.

A senior U.S. official has said the G7 countries will pledge a new set of concerted measures to put pressure on Russia and finalize plans for a price cap on Russian oil.

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According to a European official, in his speech to the G7, Gelensky asked for security guarantees, along with air defense systems.

Leaders will make long-term security commitments to provide financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support to Ukraine, including advanced weapons, “the White House said.

A source familiar with the matter told Reuters this week that the United States is likely to announce the purchase of aerial missile defense from the advanced medium to long range for Ukraine. read more

As Ukraine faces a Russian offensive in its fifth month, US President Joe Biden has previously told allies that “we must stand together” against it.

Sanctions have effectively cut Russia off from the global financial system, but the war has created difficulties for countries beyond Russia’s borders, with reduced food and energy supplies hitting the world economy. read more

This includes Ukrainian grain exports currently stranded in ports, which typically feed millions of people in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere.

But Russian President Vladimir Putin showed no signs of changing course as his troops fought to select another Ukrainian city.

Horror

Civilians of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said on Monday that Russian forces were using artillery to try to cut off Lysyansk from the south. Civilian warplanes also struck near the city, civil servants said in its daily update.

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On Sunday, the Tass news agency quoted a Moscow-backed separatist official as saying that Russian forces were entering Lysychansk from five directions and isolating Ukrainian security forces.

Reuters could not confirm the report and did not mention the separatists ‘entry into the city in the public servants’ update.

“Lysychansk, it was a horror, last week,” said Elena, an elderly woman from the city, who was one of dozens of evacuees who came by bus from the front lines to the Ukrainian-controlled city of Pokrovsk.

“I have already told my husband that if I die, bury me behind the house,” she said.

In a setback for Ukraine, as Ukrainian troops withdrew after weeks of bombing and street fighting over the weekend, over the weekend, Russian forces gained full control over the twin city of Sverdlovsk, on the east bank of the Shivarsky Donets River.

Luhansk and the neighboring province of Donetsk form the eastern Donbass region of Ukraine – the industrial hub of the country.

Following the failure of Russian troops to capture the capital, Kiev, in the early stages of the war, the Donbass became the Kremlin’s main target.

Russian forces control an area in the south, including the port city of Mariupol, which fell several weeks after the siege and is now in ruins.

Russian missiles hit Kiev on Sunday for the first time in weeks.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, calling the Kremlin a “special military operation” to remove the country from far-right nationalists and ensure Russian security.

Kiev and the West reject the war of aggression as an unsubstantiated excuse that killed thousands, displaced millions from Ukraine, destroyed cities and raised food and energy prices.

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Do not separate

Western nations rallied around Kiev when Russia invaded Ukraine in February, but that unity is now being tested as rising inflation and energy shortages recur on their own citizens.

At the summit, Biden stressed the need for unity amid concerns that European capitals have differing views on how to handle the situation.

“Putin thought from the beginning that somehow NATO and the G7 would split, but we are not, we are not going to go,” he said.

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Reuters Bureau report; Written by Angus MacSwan; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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