EU has ‘prepared’ to halt Russian gas supplies and promises ‘a coordinated response’

Update on the situation on site

Several places like Izium and Kreminna have fallen in the last two weeks and the Russian army is still advancing, bag by bag. “The Russians are trying to advance towards the cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk from the north and east”according to the British Ministry of Defence.

In the Donbass region “The enemy is attacking our troops’ positions along the entire front line with mortars, artillery and several rocket launchers.”the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense pointed out this via telegram yesterday.

In the Luhansk region in particular, shelling continues in the town of Popasna, with three dead found under the rubble of a collapsed building, Governor Serhi Haïdaï said on Tuesday.

And in the Donetsk region, at least two civilians were killed and six others injured in various locations, according to Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko.

“We have a very fragmented front line that doesn’t follow any river, road or highway. Now it’s a village of ours, one of them, one of us, like on a chess board.”, sums up a spokeswoman for the Ukrainian army. A bomb attack in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, killed three people and injured seven, two seriously, regional authorities said.

Two Russian rockets hit the city of Zaporizhia yesterday morning, killing at least one person and injuring one and hitting an (unspecified) company, according to the regional administration. Zaporizhia, a major industrial center on the Dnieper River, south of which also has Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, has in recent weeks been the staging point for Ukrainian civilians fleeing the siege of Mariupol and other bombed Donbass cities.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said yesterday that this city is now preparing for an attack by Russian forces from the coast.

The situation is still deadlocked in Mariupol, which is almost completely controlled by the Russians but where, according to Kyiv, about 100,000 civilians are still trapped.

Russian forces continue to shell the huge Azovstal metallurgical complex there, where the last Ukrainian militants with what they say are nearly a thousand civilians are holed up, Governor Kyrylenko said on Tuesday.

The road-rail bridge over the Dniester estuary, which connects the Odessa region with the Romanian border, was damaged in an attack and closed to traffic, according to Interior Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko. “If it remains closed, access to the Odessa region will be possible only along the Moldovan border”he said on Twitter.

The radioactivity at the site of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine is “usually”said International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi yesterday during a visit, thirty-six years after the worst nuclear disaster in history in 1986. The occupation of this site, 150 kilometers north of Kyiv, by the Russian army, between April 24 and February and late March “very, very dangerous”, he noticed. There was a power outage there.

There is no total civilian death toll. In Mariupol alone, the Ukrainian authorities say 20,000 people have died as a result of the fighting and the lack of food, water and electricity. On the military side, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that around 2,500 to 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed and around 10,000 injured since the conflict began.

The Kremlin recently sided with him “Significant Losses”. On March 25 he confirmed the deaths of 1,351 soldiers for 8,825 wounded. Some western sources put the number of dead Russian soldiers at up to 12,000.

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