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Ukraine pleads for more weapons, cholera spreads in Mariupol

Ukraine pleaded to Western countries for faster deliveries of weapons as better-armed Russian forces pounded the east of the country, and for humanitarian support to combat growing outbreaks of deadly diseases.

In Sievierodonetsk, the city that has become the focus of Russia’s advance in eastern Ukraine and one of the bloodiest flashpoints in the war well into its fourth month, further heavy fighting was reported.

The war in the east, where Russia is focussing its attention, is now primarily an artillery battle in which Kyiv is severely outgunned, Ukrainian officials say. That means the tide of events could be turned only if Washington and others fulfilled promises to send more and better weaponry, including rocket systems.

Ukraine almost used its artillery ammunition & relies on NATO standard shells. It needs 5,000-6,000 shells per day. Ukraine has one artillery piece for 10-15 Russian ones, Deputy Head of Defence Intelligence of Ukraine said.

— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) June 10, 2022

“This is an artillery war now,” Vadym Skibitsky, Ukraine’s deputy head of military intelligence, told Britain’s Guardian newspaper. “Everything now depends on what [the West] gives us. Ukraine has one artillery piece to 10 to 15 Russian artillery pieces.”

Germany, criticised for being slow to supply the heavy weaponry Kyiv says it needs, plans to revise its rules on arms exports to make it easier to arm democracies like Ukraine, Der Spiegel reported on Friday.

Cholera outbreak in the south

To the south, the mayor of Mariupol – reduced to ruins by a Russian siege – said sanitation systems were broken and corpses were rotting in the streets.

There is an outbreak of dysentery and cholera,” Vadym Boichenko told national television. “The war which took over 20,000 residents… unfortunately, with these infection outbreaks, will claim thousands more Mariupolites.”

In the video you can see the consequences of the #Russian occupation of the city of #Mariupol. A cholera epidemic has now begun in the city itself.#Ukraine️ #UkraineWar

— 🇺🇦Ukraine News Live🇺🇦 (@UkraineNewsLive) June 8, 2022

Mr Boichenko called on the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross to establish a humanitarian corridor to allow remaining residents to leave the city, which is now under Russian control.

In a snapshot of the war’s wider impact, the UN food agency said reduced exports of wheat and other food commodities from Ukraine and Russia could inflict chronic hunger on up to 19 million more people globally over the next year.

Battle for Sievierodonetsk

Russia hopes to capture the whole of the eastern province of Luhansk, which it demands Ukraine cede to separatists along with neighbouring Donetsk. The two provinces make up the Donbas region, where Moscow has backed a revolt by separatist proxies since 2014.

To that end, the Kremlin has concentrated its forces into a battle for Sievierodonetsk, which is in the Luhansk region.

Severodonetsk (June 11 7:30 AM)

Heavy street fighting is taking place in Severodonetsk. Russian Forces captured the airport and currently control most of the city.

Ukrainian Forces destroyed a Kadyrov reconnaissance team#UkraineWar #Ukraine #Luhansk

— Ukraine Battle Map (@ukraine_map) June 11, 2022

Ukrainian troops have largely pulled out of the city’s residential areas but have not yielded their foothold on the east bank of the Siverskyi Donets River. Russian forces are also pushing from the north and south to try to encircle the Ukrainians, but have made limited progress.

Ukraine’s army command said on Saturday that Russian troops had secured positions in two communities near Sievierodonetsk, while Serhiy Haidai, the Luhansk governor, said Russians were in control of “most” of the city.

Mr Haidai said the main road from Bakhmut to Sievierodonetsk was being constantly shelled but there had been no changes in positions.

The war ‘affects international order’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, speaking remotely at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, said the outcome of the war in his country affected not just Ukraine, but the future of international order.

Full house at #sld2022 in #Singapore while President of #Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy is delivering his special virtual address about the common need to stand up for the principles and the rules-based order. #StandWithUkraine

— Kateryna Zelenko 🇺🇦 (@KaterynaZelenko) June 11, 2022

Noting the support so far from the West and its Asian allies, the President – addressing the event via video link from an undisclosed location in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv – said it was crucial that the nations sending aid do not let up.

“I am grateful for your support… but this support is not only for Ukraine, but for you as well,” he said. “It is on the battlefields of Ukraine that the future rules of this world are being decided along with the boundaries of the possible.”

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