“In the Lugansk region, the Russians are advancing in all directions at once,” regional governor Sergey Gaidai said on Telegram on Wednesday.

“The situation in the Donbass is extremely difficult,” acknowledged President Zelensky on Tuesday evening. “All the forces that the Russian army still has have been thrown there for the offensive” because they “want to destroy everything”, he said.

Moscow has decided to intensify its offensive in the Donbass, formed by the regions of Lugansk and Donetsk, which the Ukrainians are struggling to defend, after having moved Russian forces away from the country’s two largest cities, kyiv and Kharkiv (northeast) .

It is in particular to defend the Donbass, partially controlled since 2014 by pro-Russian separatists, from an alleged “genocide”, that Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

“We will continue the special military operation until all objectives are achieved,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday.

He also pointed out that Moscow was preparing to carry out a long offensive in Ukraine.

According to the Ukrainian General Staff of the Armed Forces, Moscow has more recourse to its air force to support its troops on the ground.

“Due to a lack of high-precision missiles, the enemy seeks to destroy critical and military infrastructure in Ukraine by other means,” he said.

In the Donbass, the Governor General reported “increasingly intense bombing” and affirmed that “the Russian army aims to completely destroy Severodonetsk”, a strategic city northwest of Lugansk.

“We are an outpost that holds back the assault and will do it. Despite the superiority of the enemy army, WE will win, because we are fighting for our land”, launched Sergiï Gaïdaï, comparing the situation in the region of Luhansk to that of Mariupol province.

– “Accelerate arms deliveries” –

This great port city in the Southeast was practically razed to the ground after several weeks of siege and bombing.

The Russians encircle Severodonetsk and Lyssytchansk, two localities separated by a river and which constitute the last pocket of Ukrainian resistance.

Fighting is also underway for control of the town of Lyman, an important railway junction whose capture would constitute significant progress in these attempts to encircle, said the leader of the pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk, Denis Pushilin.

“Russian units and people’s militia (the pro-Russian separatist army) have entered the city,” he said during a pro-Kremlin broadcast on Youtube, this information being impossible to verify in the news. immediate.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense also spoke of intense fighting in the vicinity of the localities of Popasna and Bakhmout, the fall of which would give the Russians control of an important crossroads for the Ukrainian war effort.

In this context, kyiv urged the West to deliver more armaments.

“The Russian offensive in the Donbass is a ruthless battle, the largest on European soil since the Second World War. I urge our partners to speed up the delivery of arms and ammunition,” the Ukrainian minister said on Tuesday. of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kouleba.

President Zelensky himself called for “heavy weapons: rocket-propelled grenades, tanks, anti-ship weapons and other weapons.”

The situation on the southern front remains stable, although the Ukrainians claim territorial gains there.

– “Preserve our civilization” –

In addition, in Kharkiv (north-east), life has begun to resume its normal course, the metro, which served as a shelter against bombs, has been running again since Tuesday.

Increasing its pressure on Russia, the United States has decided to end, from Wednesday 04:01 GMT, an exemption allowing Moscow to pay its debts in dollars, announced Tuesday the American Treasury. This decision could precipitate Russia, which has a dozen payments to honor by the end of the year, into default.

At the Davos Forum, Swiss President Ignazio Cassis announced that his country would organise, on July 4 and 5, a “conference for the reconstruction of Ukraine”, which should notably address the question of the announced and future contributions of the World Bank. , the OECD and the European Union (EU).

For his part, the American billionaire George Soros wanted to be alarmist on the sidelines of the meeting of the World Economic Forum.

“The invasion (of Ukraine by Russia) may have been the start of World War III and our civilization may not survive it,” he said in a speech.

For him, “the best and only way to preserve our civilization is to beat (Russian President Vladimir) Putin as soon as possible,” he insisted.

The EU was still discussing an embargo on Russian oil on Tuesday, which requires the unanimity of member countries. Germany and France have deemed it possible to achieve this in the coming days, but Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose country is very dependent on Russian oil, has deemed this prospect “very unlikely” in the immediate future.

In three months of armed conflict, 234 children have been killed and 433 injured, the office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Iryna Venediktova denounced on Tuesday.

In total, thousands of civilians and soldiers perished, without there being a quantified toll. For the city of Mariupol alone, the Ukrainian authorities speak of 20,000 dead.

More than eight million Ukrainians have been internally displaced, according to the UN. Added to this are 6.5 million who have fled abroad, more than half of them – 3.4 million – to Poland.