June 3 (UPI) — Russia’s invasion of Ukraine reached its 100th day on Friday, with Moscow tightening its grip on the Donbas region as Ukrainian forces slow — and in some areas even stall — Kremlin advances.
In the important eastern hub city of Severodonetsk, which Russia has captured most of over weeks of bombing and destroying the city infrastructure, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky reported in his latest national address of “some success” in pushing back, preventing Moscow from overrunning the municipality.
“The situation there is the hardest now,” Zelensky said, according to The Guardian. “Just as in the cities and communities nearby — Lysychansk, Bakhmut and others. Many cities are facing a powerful Russian attack.”
In Lysychansk, one of two cities in eastern Ukraine that is at least partially under their control, Russian forces have destroyed roughly 60% of its infrastructure and residential buildings. Fleeing residents have dwindled the city’s population from 97,000 to about 20,000, Lysychansk military-civil administration head Oleksandr Zaika said.
Sloviansk, another key eastern city, has also faced intense Russian bombing this week as the city’s mayor called for residents to immediately evacuate. Officials confirmed the city is currently without electricity and water.
A British Defense Ministry report said Russia’s success in eastern Ukraine, though, has come at a significant cost resource-wise, stalling much of its efforts in other parts of the country.
“Russia has not been able to generate maneuver or movement on other fronts or axes, all of which have transitioned to the defensive,” the ministry said on Twitter.
“Measured against Russia’s original plan, none of the strategic objectives have been achieved. In order for Russia to achieve any form of success will require a continued huge investment of manpower and equipment and is likely to take considerable further time.”
In the meantime, Russia has expressed frustration over not receiving more assistance from China, which has limited its support to Moscow so it would not violate Western war sanctions.
“For a long time, China and Russia have maintained normal cooperation in the fields of economy, trade and energy,” Liu Pengyu, spokesman for China’s embassy in Washington, told the Washington Post. “The problem is not who will help Russia bypass the sanctions, but that normal economic and trade exchanges between Russia and China have been unnecessarily damaged.”