The sound of rocket fire fills the air in the Donetsk region – the scene of the longest and bloodiest battles since the war began – as Russian and Ukrainian forces continue to fight tooth and nail for every inch of land.
Images released by the so-called People’s Militia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) show destroyed buildings and infrastructure, alleged to be in the frontline city of Bakhmut – where Russia has made small advances in recent months.
But in his nightly address on Tuesday, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned world leaders that delays in supplying his country with more weapons are costing lives.
“It is very important to understand this, every time we hear that the promised supply of weapons is delayed, every time there are doubts about the type of weapons for Ukraine, about the range or other quality characteristics – it means every time Ukrainian soldiers are giving their lives so that we have this time,” Ukraine’s leader said.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Defence Ministry claims the Wagner mercenary group has made gains in Bakhmut in recent days.
Should Moscow take control of the embattled eastern city, it could pave the way for its forces to threaten major Ukrainian-held cities in the region, such as Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.
But Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday during his visit to Brazil, that Moscow wanted the conflict to end as soon as possible.
“It is clear that we are interested in ending the Ukrainian conflict as soon as possible […] And our goals in this regard are primarily to ensure that there are no threats to the military security of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine,” he said.