The Ukrainian roundup

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May 29 (Reuters) – Ukrainian forces were resisting a Russian assault on Sievierodonetsk, the largest city they still hold in the eastern Donbas region, but were weathering heavy artillery barrages, Ukrainian officials said.


* Fighting for the eastern Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk continues with Russian forces conducting assault operations on Saturday, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said.

* “It’s indescribably difficult there. And I am grateful to all those who withstood this onslaught,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his evening video address on Saturday. He called the military situation in Donbas very complicated, adding that defences were holding up in a number of places, including Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk.

* Russia said it used missile strikes to destroy Ukrainian command posts in Bakhmut and Soledar. Both towns are on an important road running southwest from Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk.

* Some 50 homes in the village of Demydiv remain partially submerged months after a dam was destroyed and the area flooded to stop Russian troops from advancing on Kyiv, regional governor Oleksiy Kuleba said. 

* Ukraine has started receiving Harpoon anti-ship missiles from Denmark and self-propelled howitzers from the United States, Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said on Saturday.


* Zelenskiy said in a television interview he believed Russia would agree to talks if Ukraine could recapture all the territory it has lost since the invasion. But he ruled out the idea of using force to win back all the land Ukraine has lost to Russia since 2014.

* French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz urged Russian President Vladimir Putin in a call on Saturday to release the 2,500 Ukrainian defenders of the Azovstal steel plant detained by Russian forces, the Elysee palace said. 

* Putin told Macron and Scholz that Russia was willing to discuss ways to make it possible for Ukraine to resume shipments of grain from Black Sea ports, the Kremlin said. 


* An EU summit on Monday and Tuesday could see divisions between members who want to take a hard line against Russia and those calling for a ceasefire. 

Ukrainian servicemen rest in shelter near the small city of Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine. EPA-EFE/STR

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