Ukraine’s president said up to 3,000 troops have been killed so far in seven weeks of war with Russia.
Russia shelled Lviv and hit kyiv with missiles on Saturday, blowing up a factory that repairs tanks.
The attack followed the sinking of the flagship of Moscow’s Black Sea Fleet on Thursday, as Russia promised to launch more long-range attacks on Ukraine.
Ukraine said one of its missiles sank the Moskva, showing Ukraine’s strength against a larger and more heavily armed country.
But Moscow said the ship sank while being towed in rough seas after a fire caused by an explosion of munitions and more than 500 sailors were evacuated.
The United States believes the Moskva was hit by two Ukrainian missiles and there were Russian casualties, although the numbers are unclear, a senior US official said.
Hold on to Mariupol
Home to 400,000 people before the Russian invasion, Mariupol was reduced to rubble. Thousands of civilians have died and tens of thousands remain trapped.
Ukraine’s military said the Russian navy was active in the Sea of Azov blockading the port of Mariupol, where ground fighting intensified as Ukraine said it was trying to break the siege of the Russia.
“The situation in Mariupol is difficult and harsh. Fighting is taking place right now,” Defense Ministry spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk told a press briefing.
“The Russian army is constantly calling in additional units to storm the city.”
He said the Russians had not completely captured the port city, but if they did, it would be the first major Ukrainian city to come under their control.
The Russian Defense Ministry said it captured the Illich steelworks in the city, but the report could not be confirmed.
It is believed that the Ukrainian defenders are mainly resisting Azovstal, another large steelworks.
Both factories are owned by Metinvest, the empire of Ukraine’s richest businessman and the backbone of Ukraine’s industrial east – who has said he will never let his businesses run under Russian occupation.
“Evacuate while it is still possible”
Russia has sent additional troops to try to drive Ukrainian forces out of Donbass, two southeastern provinces Moscow is demanding be handed over entirely to Russian-backed separatists it has backed since 2014.
Ukraine says it has so far held back Russian advances, although one person was killed and three injured in shelling in Luhansk, one of two Donbass provinces where Russia is trying to advance, Governor Serhiy Gaidai said in an online post.
A gas pipeline was damaged in the frontline cities of Lysychansk and Severodonetsk, which were without gas or water, Governor Gaidai said in a message on the Telegram messaging app.
“Evacuate, while still possible,” he said. Buses were ready for those who wanted to leave.
Ukraine gained the upper hand in the first phase of a war that many Western military experts predicted it would quickly lose.
President Zelensky claimed that 19,000 to 20,000 Russian troops were killed in the war while Moscow said in its latest casualty report in March that 1,351 Russian troops were killed and 3,825 wounded.
Ukraine’s president said the military situation in the south and east was “still very difficult”, while praising the work of his armed forces.
“The successes of our military on the battlefield are truly significant, historically significant. But they are still not enough to cleanse our land of occupiers. We will defeat them even more,” he said in a late-night video address, again calling on allies to send in heavier weapons and an international embargo on Russian oil.
President Zelensky has appealed to US President Joe Biden for the United States to designate Russia as a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’, joining North Korea, Cuba, Iran and Syria, the Washington Post reported. , citing people familiar with their conversation.
A White House spokesperson responded by saying, “We will continue to consider all options to increase pressure on Putin.”
The Independent Gt