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Ukraine thwarts Russian forces at river, sees long fight ahead

CommoditiesMay 13, 2022 11:57PM ET
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6/6 © Reuters. A satellite image shows a closer view of a barge, a Serna-class landing craft and a sunken Serna craft in Snake Island, Ukraine May 12, 2022. Satellite image 2022 Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS 2/6

By Jonathan Landay

DERGACHI, Ukraine (Reuters) -Ukrainian forces destroyed parts of a Russian armoured column as it tried to cross a river in the Donbas region, video from Ukraine's military showed on Friday, as the Ukrainian defence minister predicted many weeks of grinding fighting ahead.

Ukrainian forces have driven Russia from the second-largest Ukrainian city of Kharkiv in their fastest advance since Kremlin troops pulled away from Kyiv and the northeast over a month ago to focus their offensive on the Donbas region bordering Russia.

The city, which had been under fierce bombardment, has been quiet for at least two weeks and Reuters journalists have confirmed Ukraine now controls territory stretching to the Siverskyi Donets River, around 40 km (25 miles) to the east.

However, Moscow is still bombarding villages north of Kharkiv.

Some 10 km (six miles) north of the city, firefighters doused smouldering wreckage in Dergachi after what local officials said was an overnight Russian missile attack on the House of Culture, used to distribute aid. Volunteers inside were trying to salvage packages of baby diapers and formula.

"I can't call it anything but a terrorist act," the mayor, Vyacheslav Zadorenko, told Reuters. "They wanted to hit the base where we store provisions and create a humanitarian catastrophe."

Another missile had slammed into the building on Thursday and Russian shelling had wounded a staff member at a clinic and killed a young couple in their home, he said.

Russia, which denies targeting civilians, said its forces had shot down a Ukrainian Su-27 aircraft in the Kharkiv region and disabled the Kremenchuk oil refinery in central Ukraine.

It was not immediately possible to verify the reports.

Southeast of Kharkiv, Britain said Ukraine had stopped Russian forces crossing the Siverskyi Donets river west of Severodonetsk. Footage released by Ukrainian Airborne Forces Command appeared to show several burnt out military vehicles near segments of a partially submerged bridge and many other damaged or abandoned vehicles, including tanks, nearby.

Reuters could not immediately verify the report, or when or where the clash took place.

The Kremlin calls its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine a "special military operation" to demilitarise a neighbour threatening its security. Ukraine says it poses no threat to Russia and that the deaths of thousands of civilians and destruction of cities and towns show Russia is waging a war of aggression.

"We are entering a new, long phase of the war," Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in a Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) post, predicting "extremely tough weeks" ahead during which he said Ukraine would largely be alone against an "enraged aggressor".

In their first conversation since the invasion, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke by telephone on Friday with Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, seeking an immediate ceasefire and stressing the importance of open lines of communication.

KYIV SAYS CHILDREN DEPORTED

Ukraine accused Russia of forcibly deporting more than 210,000 children since its invasion, saying they were among 1.2 million Ukrainians transferred against their will. The Kremlin says people have come to Russia to escape fighting.

In Kyiv, a court began hearing the first case of what Ukraine says are more than 10,000 possible war crimes. A Russian soldier is accused of murdering a civilian. Moscow has accused Kyiv of staging such crimes.

In the southern port of Mariupol, Russian forces intensified their bombardment of the Azovstal steelworks, the last bastion of Ukrainian defenders in a city almost completely controlled by Russia after a siege of more than two months.

Some of the civilians evacuated recently from tunnels under the plant where they sheltered described terrifying conditions.

"Every second was hellish," 51-year-old nurse Valentyna Demyanchuk told Reuters.

Around Snake Island, which Ukrainian military intelligence said allows control of civilian shipping, renewed fighting could help Kyiv resume grain exports vital to world supplies.

Ukraine said it had damaged a Russian navy logistics ship near Snake Island. Russia's defence ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

Satellite imagery from Maxar, a private U.S.-based company, showed the aftermath of what it called probable missile attacks on a Russian landing craft near the island.

NATO EXPANSION

Meeting in Germany, foreign ministers from the G7 group of rich nations backed giving Ukraine more aid and arms and the European Union's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced a further 500 million euros ($520 million) worth of military support that should be approved next week by EU members. He voiced confidence the bloc will agree an embargo on Russian oil.

Ukraine's foreign minister told the meeting he hoped EU holdout Hungary would agree to the oil embargo. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban wants hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation before agreeing to a ban.

In a late night video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the Russian invasion could cause famine in dozens of countries, triggering political instability and migration.

"How much would you then have to spend to overcome the consequences? These are the questions which should be answered by those who are dragging their feet on sanctions against Russia or are trying to delay aid for Ukraine," he said.

A day after Finland committed to applying to join NATO, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde (NYSE:LIN) said membership for her country would bring stability and benefit countries around the Baltic sea.

Joining the 30-nation Western military alliance would end the neutrality the two states maintained during the Cold War and further expand NATO, something Russian President Vladimir Putin said his invasion of Ukraine aimed to prevent.

Moscow has called Finland's announcement hostile and threatened retaliation but said a newspaper report the Kremlin might cut gas supplies to Finland was mostly likely a "hoax".

($1 = 0.9605 euros)

Ukraine thwarts Russian forces at river, sees long fight ahead
 

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Comments (10)
Kyrylo Priadchenko
Kyrylo Priadchenko May 14, 2022 3:00PM ET
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Writing as an officer of the Armed forces of Ukraine - All the money sent to Ukraine by US, GB, and other countries, by EACH OF YOU, we "thieves" forward it to stop the world-dangerous illness named Russia. And every day we pay with our lives. - Yes, it's hard to believe, but we are winning. Because no tank is stronger than a man defending his own home. - And do not hesitate that russia is a criminal state. You can't even imagine what terrible acts russian soldiers systematically did on the occupied area.....including my home.  Glory to Ukraine
The King
The King May 14, 2022 1:43AM ET
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No one gives a chit. All I care is how these thieves stole 40 BILLION from us.
Thomas Bjerre Kristiansen
Thomas Bjerre Kristiansen May 14, 2022 1:43AM ET
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if no stability in the world you would be worse off
Loki Kan
Loki Kan May 13, 2022 10:53PM ET
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the west won't let this war end so soon. they are enjoying and profiting from it... who would switch the music off? only the Russians and Ukrainians want it to end.
Arunachalam pillai
Arunachalam pillai May 13, 2022 10:53PM ET
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joker zelensky is letting Ukraine as a battleground for west vs Russia .he can rather go friendly with Russia
First Last
First Last May 13, 2022 10:53PM ET
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Yeah, they really enjoy the high market volatility and inflation, civilians rotting in Russian-dug mass graves, and threats of radiation from Ukrainian power plants or Russian bombs.</sarc>
ben sc
ben sc May 13, 2022 4:08PM ET
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Take note, it took a US Official 3 months to call a Russian and ask for a cease fire. And the same time trying to deliver 40 billion more for the war effort. Our regime allowed Russia to take Crimea without a shot in 2014, but now we have to wage war and spend 10s of billions to defend Ukraine democracy?Biden voters, make it make sense.
Millennial Stacker
Millennial Stacker May 13, 2022 10:45AM ET
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I dont like Russia either but blatant feel good david and goliath story propaganda about ukraine somehow winning is just total lies.
Doug Cooper
Doug Cooper May 13, 2022 10:45AM ET
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The fact that Ukraine has held its own after nearly 3 months of fighting is proof enough that these aren't just feel good stories. Remember this was supposed to be over in a week. Nearly all major population centers are still under Ukrainian control. Russia is not winning this conflict.
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi May 13, 2022 10:45AM ET
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"ukraine somehow winning is just total lies."  -- so Russia army didn't retreat from Kviv with tail between its legs?
trevor hron
trevor hron May 13, 2022 10:45AM ET
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Tre Hsi Yeah seems pretty fishy to me. Unless they really underestimated their will to fight. But even so Russia has way more firepower and personnel and lots of rockets. Plus all if their intelligence which Ukraine has leaned on US for that. Seems like a very odd outcome
Oleksii Trugov
Oleksii Trugov May 13, 2022 10:45AM ET
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trevor hron  Ukraine will get more heavy weaponary thanks to America's lend-lease and EU's military aid, so they will catch up with russkies firepower. And about personnel, Ukrainians have mobilized just about the needed number of people to fight them off. All they need now is a proper amount of heavy weaponary to go into offensive. Then russkies will be in trouble.
First Last
First Last May 13, 2022 10:05AM ET
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"Russia, which denies targeting civilians" --  Lie.  And Russia shouldn't be targeting Ukrainian military, either.
haitharu Ss
haitharu Ss May 13, 2022 10:05AM ET
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you remember how the US reacted when Russia put missiles in Cuba? this is the same thing
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi May 13, 2022 10:05AM ET
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haitharu Ss  "this is the same thing"  -- is it?  did US put missiles in Ukraine?  no?  so it's not the same thing is it?
First Last
First Last May 13, 2022 10:05AM ET
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haitharu Ss   The US didn't put nuclear missiles in Ukraine.  The US blockaded Cuba to prevent missile delivery, not invaded.
trevor hron
trevor hron May 13, 2022 10:05AM ET
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haitharu Ss Very true. This did not go over well at all. It was an immediate Red flag and we flew counter attack missions around the clock.
First Last
First Last May 13, 2022 10:05AM ET
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In this "counter attack", how many people were killed?  How much civilian infrastructure like maternity wards were were destroyed?
gab nea
gab nea May 13, 2022 8:02AM ET
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only the republicans love what putin is doing, the seditionists! what religion is putin? what about lavrov, do they pray? I wonder for what?
First Last
First Last May 13, 2022 8:02AM ET
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Republicans have to support Putin when they get so much support from Putin.
First Last
First Last May 13, 2022 8:02AM ET
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Some people just repeat Russian propaganda lies.
Joseph Armour
Joseph Armour May 13, 2022 7:55AM ET
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Kudos to America's special military advisors to Ukraine and our American weapons we have been stockpiling for the last few years in Ukraine. It looks like President Biden won't flub this one like Nixon did in Vietnam.
gab nea
gab nea May 13, 2022 7:55AM ET
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best president last 6 years, we are lucky to have him.
Joseph Armour
Joseph Armour May 13, 2022 7:55AM ET
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I'm going to take a wild guess and say some responders are not fluent in American English.
John Laurens
John Laurens May 13, 2022 7:11AM ET
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Death to Russia!!!
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi May 13, 2022 6:36AM ET
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I am guessing nobody from the Russian govt is brave enough to show Putin these videos and tell him the phase 2 of the "special operation" is going about as well as phase 1.....
gab nea
gab nea May 13, 2022 6:36AM ET
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he is not even competent as a bully, he is a joke! and will never win in ukraine.
 
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