“The enemy wants to completely isolate Severodonetsk by preventing any passage of men or ammunition, said Sunday the Ukrainian governor of the Lugansk region, Serguiï Gaïdaï, fearing that Russia will send “all its reserves to take the city ” within 48 hours. The situation there is “extremely difficult”, he admitted.

So far, “we continue to hold our positions” in the north of the Lugansk region, assured Valeri Zalouzhny, commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army, while deploring that “every meter of land (…) there is covered in blood – but not only ours, but also that of the occupier”. Militarily, Russia “uses large-scale artillery and, unfortunately, has a 10-to-1 advantage,” said Valeri Zalouzhny.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in his evening video message on Sunday called the latest fighting in Severodonetsk “very violent”, saying that Moscow is deploying insufficiently trained troops and using them as “cannon fodder”.

The capture of this city would open up the road to another major city, Kramatorsk, in Moscow, a stage to conquer the entire Donbass basin, a mainly Russian-speaking region partly held by pro-Russian separatists since 2014.

On the diplomatic level, after promising kyiv the day before a response “by the end of next week” to Ukraine’s request to start a process of joining the European Union, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, acknowledged on Sunday that “the challenge (would be) to come out of the European Council (scheduled for June 23 and 24) with a united position that reflects the enormity of these historic decisions”.

– Tensions at the WTO –

For their part, the Member States of the World Trade Organization (WTO) met on Sunday in Geneva with the particular objective of helping to find a solution to the risk of a serious food crisis that the invasion by Russia from Ukraine, whose fertile lands traditionally feed hundreds of millions of people on the planet.

Tensions surfaced in a closed-door meeting where delegates took the floor to condemn Russian aggression. The Ukrainian delegate, who also spoke, was greeted with a standing ovation, according to WTO spokesman Dan Pruzin.

Then, just before Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Rechetnikov took the floor, around 30 delegates “left the room,” Pruzin said.

The sanctions imposed on Moscow did not prevent Russia from raking in 93 billion euros in revenue from the export of fossil fuels during the first 100 days of war, the majority of which went to the EU, according to the report of an independent research center published on Monday.

– “It’s terrorism” –

On the ground, the Russian Ministry of Defense said it had destroyed in Tchortkiv, in western Ukraine and 140 km from the border with Romania, “a large warehouse of anti-tank missile systems, portable air defense and shells supplied to the kyiv regime by the United States and European countries”.

The strike on this city, located in the west so far relatively spared, left 22 injured, according to the governor of this region.

To the east, in the Donetsk region, the Ukrainian presidency said that “the Russians (intensified) their efforts to destroy essential infrastructure”.

In Mikolaiv, a major port on the Dnieper estuary in the south, the Russian advance has been stopped on the outskirts of the city, the fighting is turning into trench warfare and the authorities are taking the measure of the bombardment of infrastructure, according to a team of AFP journalists on site.

There, the Ukrainian army dug trenches facing the Russians. “The Russians are bluffing. There are many of them, they have a lot of weapons, old and new, but they are not soldiers,” Serguiy, 54, a Ukrainian brigade captain, said on Sunday as his comrades in arms fired. towards enemy positions.

On Monday, Amnesty International accused Russia of war crimes in Ukraine, saying hundreds of civilians had died in relentless attacks on Kharkiv, many carried out with cluster bombs.

Following an in-depth investigation, the human rights NGO claims to have found evidence showing that in seven attacks on neighborhoods in Ukraine’s second city, in the north-east of the country, Russian forces have used 9N210 and 9N235 cluster munitions and cluster bombs, two categories prohibited by international treaties.

“People have been killed in their homes and on the streets, on playgrounds and in cemeteries, as they waited in line for humanitarian aid or shopping for food and medicine,” Donatella said. Rovera, crisis and conflict researcher at Amnesty headquarters.

Ukrainian justice has opened more than 12,000 war crimes investigations in the country since the start of the Russian invasion, according to the prosecution.