Russia-Ukraine war live updates: Severodonetsk defenders holding out under merciless shelling, mayor says

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met troops in the Zaporizhzhia region on June 5 and visited two towns near the front of battles against the Russian army. (Video: Reuters)

Updated June 8, 2022 at 2: 09 a.m. EDT|Published

June 7, 2022 at 2: 00 a.m. EDT

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Ukrainian soldiers in Severodonetsk, the eastern city under continuous Russian bombardment, are holding their positions despite relentless shelling, and troops are “doing their utmost to defend the city,” its mayor, Oleksandr Stryuk, said Tuesday. The situation remains “difficult,” he said, and “the fighting is not fading.”

He issued the update a day after President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine has “every chance” of winning the battle for Severodonetsk, even though analysts and officials say Russia controls a significant part of the city. Zelensky also warned that Moscow was preparing to take Zaporizhzhia in the southeastern part of Ukraine, which would allow Russian troops easier access to the center.

Aerial photographs from across eastern Ukraine revealed the destructive path Russia’s invasion has cut through that part of the country, where fighting has been focused for several weeks. The satellite images show fields full of artillery craters, city blocks reduced to rubble and a 130-foot bomb scar.

Here’s what else to know

  • Zelensky told his country to prepare for a brutal winter amid fuel shortages.
  • The global economy may be headed for years of weak growth and rising prices, the World Bank warned, with fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine aggravating the slowdown.
  • The Kremlin announced more travel bans targeting notable Americans, including several top airline executives and Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen. This is mostly symbolic.
  • European Council President Charles Michel told the United Nations on Monday that Moscow was creating a global food crisis by weaponizing Ukraine’s grain exports, prompting the Russian ambassador to walk out of the meeting.
  • The Washington Post has lifted its paywall for readers in Russia and Ukraine. Telegram users can subscribe to our channel.

6: 10 p.m.

Headshot of Reis Thebault

Reis Thebault:

Zelensky warns of a harsh winter amid fuel shortages — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told his country to prepare for a brutal winter. In most parts of Ukraine, the temperatures drop in October. They often fall below freezing the following months. In his evening address Tuesday, Zelensky said his government is “setting up a headquarters to prepare for the next heating season.”He said Ukraine will not sell its gas and coal abroad, instead saving it for domestic use, and he has directed his energy minister to prioritize the rebuilding of power plants damaged during Russia’s invasion. “In the current situation due to Russia’s aggression,” Zelensky said, “this will indeed be the most difficult winter of all the years of independence.”

Reis Thebault

,

National and breaking news reporter

4: 40 p.m.

Headshot of Reis Thebault

Reis Thebault:

No confirmation of cholera — A World Health Organization spokesperson told The Washington Post on Tuesday that it has not yet received word of a confirmed or suspected case of cholera in Mariupol. Although the organization is having difficulty getting in to Mariupol, it has been working with partners on the ground. Russian authorities now running the city recently imposed a quarantine, according to an exiled local official. The exiled local official said that the Russian authorities had recently imposed a quarantine on the city. He didn’t elaborate and could not independently verify his statements.

Reis Thebault

,

National and breaking news reporter

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