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Russia attacked positions in eastern Ukraine as it tried to encircle Ukrainian forces in the Donbass and repel a counteroffensive around the town of Izium, Reuters reported.

the the heaviest fighting seemed to be taking place around the eastern Russian-held city of Izium, where Russia said it hit Ukrainian positions with missiles.

Ukraine’s joint forces task force said its troops repelled 17 attacks on Sunday and destroyed 11 pieces of Russian equipment. The Ukrainian Air Force command said Ukrainian forces shot down two helicopters, two cruise missiles and seven drones.

Russia continued to target civilian areas along the entire frontline in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, firing on 23 villages and towns, the task force added.

Reuters was unable to independently confirm the information. Russia denies targeting civilians.

If Ukraine can keep pressure on Izium and Russian supply lines, it will be more difficult for Moscow to surround Ukrainian troops in Donbass.

The Ukrainian military has also acknowledged setbacks, saying Russian forces “continue to advance” in several areas of the Donbass region.

In western Ukraine, near Poland, missiles destroyed military infrastructure overnight Saturday and were fired at the Lviv region from the Black Sea, Ukrainian officials said.

Ten other civilians were injured in the southern region of Mykolaiv, the regional council said, without providing details.

There was also no respite on Sunday in Russia’s bombardment of steelworks in the southern port of Mariupol, where a few hundred Ukrainian fighters are resisting weeks after the town fell to Russian hands, the report said. Ukrainian army.

Brightly burning ordnance was shown cascading down steel mills in a video posted by a pro-Russian separatist commander.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said “very difficult and delicate negotiations” were underway to save Ukrainians in Mariupol and Azovstal.

In the port city, some residents ate and talked outside their burnt building, which was bombed and caught fire in early April.

“I was in the kitchen when the smoke appeared,” said a resident named Natalya. “I started carrying my stuff, saving what I could.”

She said three neighbors died in the fighting.

“We couldn’t bury them because of the shelling. Every day we put a person in a grave, but we couldn’t cover it with earth because of the shelling.

‘Russia’s war in Ukraine is not going as Moscow planned’, NATO says

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says Russian offensive in Donbas has stalled and Ukraine can win the waran outcome that few military analysts had predicted at the start of the conflict.

Stolenberg told reporters on Sunday:

Russia’s war in Ukraine is not going as Moscow had planned.

This follows steps taken by Finland and Sweden to apply to join NATO. Both countries have maintained strict policies of neutrality and then non-alignment since the end of World War II, viewing NATO membership as a provocation by Moscow.

NATO and the United States have said they are confident that the two countries will be accepted into the alliance and that the reservations of Turkey, which wants the Nordic countries to stop supporting Kurdish militant groups present on their territory , could be waived.

Hello and welcome to the Guardian’s live coverage of the war in Ukraine. I’m Calla Wahlquist and I’ll be with you for the next few hours.

Here are some of the key developments overnight, including Sweden announcing its intention to follow Finland in its bid to join NATO. NATO Chief of Security, Jens Stolenbergsaid the alliance would seek to provide the two countries with interim security guarantees while the claims are processed.

  • Sweden has indicated that it will follow Finland in its application for NATO membership. The move by the two countries abandons decades of military misalignment sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and would redraw the security map of Europe.
  • In apparent retaliation, the Kremlin disconnected Finland’s electricity supplywith which it shares a border of 1,300 km (800 miles).
  • NATO promises unlimited military support to Ukraine on Sunday. At a meeting of alliance foreign ministers in Berlin, Germany’s Annalena Baerbock said she would provide military assistance ‘as long as Ukraine needs this support for the self-defense of her country’ .
  • British intelligence revealed that Russia may have lost up to one-third of the invasion forcewhile more than 400 Russian soldiers were estimated having been killed or injured last week trying to cross the Donets River.
  • Ukraine’s joint forces task force said its troops repelled 17 attacks on Sunday and destroyed 11 pieces of Russian equipment. They reported the heaviest fighting around the eastern Russian-held city of Izium.
  • Ukraine also said Russia fired on 23 villages and towns in Lugansk and Donetsk regions. Russia denies targeting the villages.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky warned that the military situation in the Donbass region in southeastern Ukraine was “very difficult”. Analysts say Russian President Vladimir Putin aims to annex southern and eastern Ukraine in the coming months.
  • Russian Defense Ministry claims to have carried out ‘high precision’ missile strikes at four artillery ammunition depots in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine. The ministry also said airstrikes destroyed two missile launchers and a radar, as well as 15 Ukrainian drones around Donetsk and Lugansk.
  • The first Ukrainian battalion reaches the Russian border Sunday in the Kharkiv region.
  • Ukrainian authorities are conducting at least 10 active investigations into rapes involving Russian troopsand call on other victims to come forward.
  • Kalush Orchestra, the band that won Eurovision last night for Ukraine, is auctioning off the statuette to raise funds for the Ukrainian army and Ukraine. This victory boosted morale throughout Ukraine.
  • Zelenskiy has warned that the war in his country risks triggering global food shortages and called for international intervention to prevent global famine. Before the invasion, Ukraine supplied 12% of the planet’s wheat, 15% of its corn and half of its sunflower oil.
  • A cyberattack on the Lviv City Hall website resulted in stolen data that ended up being published on Russian-linked Telegram channels. It happened the same weekend that Italian police foiled hacker attacks by pro-Russian bands during the Eurovision Song Contest.

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