Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a video message late July 6 that the artillery Ukraine has received from its Western partners has had an effect on the battlefield.
“Finally, there is a feeling that the Western artillery – the weapons that we received from our partners – worked very powerfully”, he saidpraising its precision.
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The Ukrainian army inflicted “very noticeable blows to warehouses and other points important for the logistics of the occupiers”, he said. “And this significantly reduces the offensive potential of the Russian army.”
Ukrainian forces are currently advancing in several directions, including south in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhya regions, he said.
“We are fighting for our entire south, for all of Ukrainian Donbass,” he said, noting a “most brutal confrontation” near Sloviansk and Bakhmut and adding that Ukrainian forces were also fighting for the region of Kharkov.
“Let the occupiers not think that their stay on this land is long and the superiority of their artillery is eternal,” Zelenskiy said.
Dmytro Kuleba, Ukrainian Foreign Minister said on Twitter that he spoke with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on July 6 and that they “coordinated steps to expedite the delivery of heavy weapons from the United States and other partners”.
Kuleba said he had a similar conversation with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock in which he underlined the urgent need to increase deliveries of German self-propelled howitzers and multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) to Ukraine.
Ukrainian officials have previously called on civilians to urgently evacuate the city of Sloviansk and other parts of the Donetsk region as Russia steps up its offensive in the east.
Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of the Donetsk regional military administration, said in a Telegram article, two people died in the town of Avdyivka, north of the regional capital.
The Donetsk cities of Sloviansk, Krasnohorivka and Kurakhove each reported one civilian killed on 6 July.
Sloviansk has been the subject of “heavy” Russian shelling in recent days, with at least two people killed and seven others injured in an attack on a market on July 5, officials said.
“Russia has turned the whole Donetsk region into a hot spot where it is dangerous to remain a civilian,” Kyrylenko said on Telegram. “I call on everyone to evacuate. Evacuation saves lives.”
Moscow-backed separatists in the region said attacks by Ukrainian forces killed four civilians. The claims could not be independently verified.
an intelligence report of the British Ministry of Defense on July 6 said that “there is a realistic possibility that the battle for [Slovyansk] will be the next key fight in the fight for Donbass.”
“The Russian forces of the Eastern and Western groups of forces are probably now about 16 km north of the city of [Slovyansk]“, says the intelligence report.
Speaking on July 6, officials said Ukraine had so far thwarted an attempted Russian advance in the northern Donetsk region. Russian-backed separatists and Russian forces already control the southern part of the Donetsk region.
“We are holding back the enemy on the border of the Luhansk region and the Donetsk region,” Luhansk region governor Serhiy Hayday told Ukrainian television.
He said Russian regular army and reserve forces had been sent there in an apparent effort to cross the Siverskiy Donets River and that two small settlements just within Luhansk’s borders were the scene of heavy fighting. .
“The Luhansk region is still fighting now. Almost all of the territory has been captured, but in two settlements fighting continues,” he said during a video briefing.
Vadym Lyakh, the mayor of Sloviansk, said in a July 6 video briefing that the city had been bombed for the past two weeks.
“The situation is tense,” he said.
The southern port city of Mykolayiv was also heavily bombed, Oleksandr Senkevych, its mayor, told a briefing. Russian forces were using multiple rocket launcher systems to bombard the city, which lost about half of its pre-war population of half a million people, he said.
“There are no safe areas in Mykolaiv,” he said. “I tell the townspeople that they have to leave.”
North of Donetsk, Russian forces also hit Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city, with missile strikes overnight, the regional governor said July 6 on Telegram.
Three neighborhoods in the city were targeted, Oleh Synyehubov said. Three people, including a toddler, were injured, he added.
The Russian Defense Ministry said its forces killed up to 100 Ukrainian soldiers and destroyed four armored vehicles in Kharkiv, and in the Mykolayiv region hit a Ukrainian air defense radar and a camp housing foreign fighters.
Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said high-precision air-launched missiles also destroyed two HIMARS multiple-launch rocket systems sent by the United States along with ammunition for the systems. The Ukrainian military has denied Moscow’s claims.
Zelensky, Speaking during a briefing in Kyiv with visiting Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin, said the terms for ending the war would depend on international sanctions pressure on Russia and the supply of arms to Ukraine.
He said the answer to the length of the war depends on “how quickly we can get Russia to think about peace because we think they haven’t even started to think about it.”
Russia has yet to feel the effects of strong sanctions in part because “unfortunately there are still allies who help the Russian Federation or their business”, he added.
Martin took advantage of this visit to reaffirm Ireland’s full support for the maintenance of sanctions against the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin and for Ukraine’s path towards membership of the European Union.
“I am grateful that Ireland stands with us at this crucial time for our country,” Zelenskiy told Martin.
Ireland has hosted more than 36,000 Ukrainian refugees and has given 20 million euros ($20.4 million) in humanitarian support and assistance to the country, in addition to health equipment and medical donations from a value of more than 4.5 million euros.
With reports from AFP, Reuters, AP and TASS