SLOVIANSK (AP), Ukraine — Russia pulled its troops from a strategically located Black Sea island, where they faced constant Ukrainian attacks. However, it continued its campaign to encircle Ukraine’s last bulwark in eastern Luhansk.
Russian Defense Ministry stated that it pulled its troops from Zmiyinyy Island (Snake) off Ukraine’s Black Sea port Odesa as part of a “goodwill gesture.” The military of Ukraine said the Russians fled Odesa Island in two speedboats after a barrage missile and artillery attacks.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Lt. General Igor Konashenkov insists that the Russian Federation was not hindering efforts of the United Nations to create a humanitarian corridor to take agricultural products from Ukraine .”
West and Ukraine have both accused Russia of blocking Ukrainian ports in order to stop grain exports, contributing to the current food crisis. Ukraine Russia denied these accusations, and claimed that Ukraine must remove the seamines from the Black Sea in order to ensure safe navigation.
Turkey attempted to broker a deal for unblocking Ukraine’s grain exports. However, the negotiations have been stalled without much progress. Kyiv expressed concern about Russia using the agreement to attack Odesa.
Russia seized control of an island located on a busy shipping route in the early days of war, in apparent hopes of controlling the area and using it to attack Odesa.
The island was the epitome of the Ukrainian resistance against the Russian invasion. It became a symbol for the Ukrainian resistance when the Russian warship demanded that the Ukrainian forces surrender or be bombarded. The Russian warship” was the reply. “Go (expletive), yourself .”
The Ukrainian island defenders were taken by the Russians, but they were later released as part of an exchange.
Ever since the island was taken by the Ukrainian army, it has bombarded the small Russian garrison there and its air defense systems.
Moscow continued its campaign to seize control over the whole Donbass region in the east of Ukraine, Thursday. The focus is on Lysychansk in eastern Ukraine, which remains a stronghold for the Ukrainians in Luhansk. Russian troops and separatist allies have taken control of 95% Luhansk as well as about half Donetsk. These are the two regions that form the majority Russian-speaking Donbas.
The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian troops had been bombarding Lysychansk, and were fighting with Ukrainian defenders near an oil refinery at the city’s edge.
Luhansk Gov. Serhiy Haidai stated that Russian reconaissance groups tried to enter Lysychansk on Wednesday but were stopped by Ukrainian forces. According to him, the Russians tried to block the highway that supplies the city with goods and encircle it.
” The Russians have sent practically all of their forces to seize this city,” Haidai stated.
Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that his objectives in Ukraine had not changed from the beginning of war. He was speaking to Turkmenistan during a trip early Thursday. They were the “liberation of Donbas, protection of these people, and creation of conditions that would ensure the security of Russia.” Putin did not mention his initial stated goal to demilitarize and “de-Nazify Ukraine.”
He said that Russia hadn’t changed its strategy since it failed to seize Kyiv at the beginning of the conflict. As you can see the troops moving quickly and reaching their targets for this stage of the combat work. “Everything is going according to plan,” Putin stated at a Turkmenistan news conference.
Funerals will be held in central Ukraine for those 18 who were killed Monday by a Russian missile attack on Kremenchuk’s busy shopping center. Crews searched the rubble for another 20 person who was still missing.
Svitlana Rybalko, a press officer for the Ukrainian State Emergency Services said that investigators discovered fragments from eight additional bodies in addition to the 18 victims. The extent of the victims was unclear. Many survivors sustained severed limbs.
After the attack on the shopping center, the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed that Russia had become a terrorist state. He criticized NATO on Wednesday for failing to embrace or fully equip his troubled nation.
He requested more modern artillery and weapons, and told NATO leaders that either Ukraine had to receive the assistance it required to defeat Russia or they would have to “face a delayed conflict between Russia and you .”
In southern Ukraine, six people were killed in Wednesday’s Russian missile attack on an apartment block in Mykolaiv. According to Gov. Vitaliy. Six more people were also injured. Mykolaiv, a port of major importance, was captured by Russia. Odesa further west would also be key to Russia’s goal of cutting Ukraine off from the Black Sea.