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Russian forces were battling on Monday to capture Lysychansk, the last major city still held by Ukrainian troops in the eastern province of Luhansk, after Moscow-backed separatists said they were advancing on multiple fronts.

Russia steps up missile strikes on Ukraine

Fighting

  • The TASS news agency quoted a separatist official on Sunday as saying that Moscow’s forces had entered Lysychansk from five directions and were isolating Ukrainian defenders. Reuters could not confirm the report.

  • The general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces said Russian forces were using artillery to try to cut off Lysychansk from the south but made no mention of separatists entering the city. Russian assault aircraft struck near Lysychansk, it added.

  • Russian forces fully occupied the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk on Saturday, both sides said. * Buildings smouldered in Kyiv, where debris littered the streets after Russian missile attacks over the weekend.

The first attacks on the capital in weeks, they were condemned as “barbarism” by US President Joe Biden.

  • Russian missiles struck a residential building in central Kyiv on Sunday, killing one and wounding six, officials said.

  • Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said missiles that struck the central city of Cherkasy on Sunday hit a strategic bridge linking the country’s west with eastern battlefields.

  • A missile strike in the Odesa region destroyed homes, causing a fire, and injuring six, including a child, said Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesperson for the regional administration.

Economy and diplomacy

  • Biden told allies, “We have to stay together” against Russia, as world leaders met at Sunday’s G7 summit in the Bavarian Alps.

  • Some Taiwan holders of Russian Eurobonds have not received interest due on May 27 after a grace period expired on Sunday, two sources said, potentially setting the stage for Moscow’s first major external sovereign default in more than a century.

  • The United States is likely to announce this week the purchase of an advanced medium- to long-range surface-to-air missile defence system for Ukraine, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

  • Indonesian President Joko Widodo said on Sunday he would urge talks between his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts during his visits to both nations.

Quotes

  • “At this stage of the war it’s spiritually difficult, emotionally difficult … we don’t have a sense of how long it will last, how many more blows, losses and efforts will be needed before we see victory is on the horizon,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in an evening speech.

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