“The whole front line is under constant bombardment,” regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said Friday evening. “They keep shelling in the direction of Donetsk… Bakhmout is shelled, Sloviansk is shelled day and night, Kramatorsk…”, he added on Telegram.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Kyrylenko had reported a toll of six dead and 21 wounded in 24 hours in the bombardments of the region.
According to him, the Russian army is “regrouping, or rather reconstituting its groups and preparing new actions in Sloviansk, Kramatorsk, Bakhmout”.
In the Kharkiv region (north-east), the country’s second largest city, Russian bombing killed four civilians and injured nine in 24 hours, Governor Oleg Sinegoubov said.
According to a senior Pentagon official, the new US military aid of $400 million – which includes four Himars multiple rocket systems and 155mm shells – will improve Ukraine’s capabilities to target weapon depots. weapons and the supply chain of the Russian army.
Thanks to the first eight Himars delivered last month, military experts estimate that the Ukrainian army was able to destroy more than a dozen Russian ammunition depots installed behind the front line in the east of the country.
Washington has already provided $6.9 billion in military assistance to kyiv since the Russian invasion began on February 24.
– “Destroy the crops” –
By pounding the Donetsk region, where evacuations of civilians continue, Moscow is seeking to seize the entire Donbass basin, its strategic objective since it withdrew from the vicinity of kyiv at the end of March.
According to the regional governor, the Russian army has also started burning the crops: “There are massive fires in the fields, which are intentionally caused by the enemy. They are trying to destroy the crops by all means. They bomb agricultural machinery, harvesters…”, he accused.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, considered one of the world’s breadbaskets, has sent food prices skyrocketing and contributed to soaring global inflation.
On Friday, participants in a G20 ministerial meeting in Indonesia “expressed their deep concern about the humanitarian consequences of the war” in Ukraine, according to the head of Indonesian diplomacy, Retno Marsudi.
The effect of war “is being felt around the world, on food, energy and budgets”, she stressed. “And as always, poor and developing countries are the most affected.”
Although the G20 did not unanimously condemn the Russian invasion, Westerners nevertheless considered that they had succeeded in broadening the front against Russia and clearly attributing to it the responsibility for the war and the global energy and food crises it caused. .
Faced with the flood of Western condemnations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov left the meeting at midday, which was also attended by his American counterpart Antony Blinken.
It was the first time since the start of the war in February that the two men had been together but the American secretary of state refused to meet his Russian counterpart separately, Mr Lavrov retorting that Moscow would not run after Washington for talks .