NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says Russia’s war in Ukraine is not going as Moscow had planned as Russia pummels positions in the east of Ukraine.
- NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says Russia’s war in Ukraine is not going as Moscow had planned and calls for more military support.
- Russia pummels positions in the east of Ukraine as it seeks to encircle Ukrainian forces in the battle for Donbas.
- Finland announces its intention to seek NATO membership, hours before Sweden’s governing party backed a plan to join the trans-Atlantic alliance.
Here are the latest updates:
Moscow’s soldiers will bring ‘evil back to Russia’: Zelenskyy
Zelenskyy has denounced the shelling of several Ukrainian cities on Sunday, saying the brutality “which Ukraine is experiencing every day, will only lead to the fact that Russian surviving soldiers will bring this evil back to Russia.”
He mentioned missile strikes on Lviv and the shelling of Hulyaipole, Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, as well as the cities and communities of the Donetsk region.
“They will bring it back because they will retreat. This is how all the feverish activity of the Russian military we see now will end,” he said.
Zelenskyy says Russians ‘at dead end’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that the Russian troops were “at a dead end” in the conflict with Ukraine.
His nightly address comes as Ukraine said it held off Russian offensives in the east and Western military officials said the campaign Moscow launched there after its forces failed to seize the capital of Kyiv has slowed to a snail’s pace.
Zelenskyy said that “the time will surely come when the Ukrainian people fully force” Russia to “recognise reality.”
Ukraine still holds 10 percent of Luhansk: Governor
The Ukrainian army continues to control around a tenth of the eastern region of Luhansk despite coming under heavy Russian attacks, according to its governor.
Governor Serhiy Gaidai said on Sunday that the Russians had not yet been able to capture the outskirts of the cities of Rubizhne, Severodonetsk and Lysychansk.
Moscow had declared last week that pro-Russian separatists had advanced to the administrative borders of Luhansk with the help of the Russian army. Gaidai said these claims were “fantasy.”
Ukraine says Russia attempting to encircle its forces in Donbas
Russia is pummelling positions in the east of Ukraine, its defence ministry has said, as it seeks to encircle Ukrainian forces in the battle for Donbas and fend off a counteroffensive around the strategic Russian-controlled city of Izium.
Russia said it had struck Ukrainian positions in the east with missiles, targeting command centres and arsenals as its forces seek to surround Ukrainian units between Izium and Donetsk.
Ukraine’s Joint Forces Task Force said its troops had repelled 17 attacks and destroyed 11 pieces of Russian equipment while its air defences shot down two Russian helicopters and five drones.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the situation in Donbas remained very difficult and Russian forces were still trying to salvage some kind of victory in a region riven by conflict since 2014. “They are not stopping their efforts,” he said.
NATO chief says Ukraine can win the war, calls for military support
At a meeting in Germany, the head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) said Ukraine could win the war, calling for more military support and fast-track approval of expected bids by Finland and Sweden to join the alliance.
“Russia’s war in Ukraine is not going as Moscow had planned,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.
An assessment by British military intelligence found Russia had lost about a third of the ground combat force deployed in February. Its Donbas offensive had fallen “significantly behind schedule” and was unlikely to make rapid advances during the coming 30 days, the assessment said.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.
Read all the updates from Sunday, May 15 here.