India Increases Flow Of Heavily Discounted Russian Oil As West Continues To Place Sanctions On Moscow

India Increases Flow Of Heavily Discounted Russian Oil As West Continues To Place Sanctions On Moscow

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1 min agoUkrainian official says most rural settlements around Severodonetsk have fallen to Russian forcesFrom CNN’s Tim Lister and Kostan Nechyporenko

A Ukrainian official in Luhansk region has acknowledged that most rural settlements around the city of Severodonetsk have now fallen to the Russians.

“At the moment, the situation is such that almost all rural settlements around Severodonetsk are now not under our control. The home front remains just the city of Lysychansk,” Roman Vlasenko, head of the Severodonetsk district administration, told Ukrainian television.Lysychansk is just across the Donets river from Severodonetsk, but it’s unclear how many bridges are still intact. 

Vlasenko’s remarks suggest that the routes available for any withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from Severodonetsk are narrowing. Resupply lines from the town of Bakhmut, which is also under frequent artillery attack, are tenuous, with persistent shelling. 

Evacuation of civilians from Severodonetsk has been suspended. 

Serhiy Hayday, the head of Luhansk’s regional administration, said that a Russian air strike in Severodonetsk had hit a tank of nitric acid at a chemical plant and warned people in the city to stay in shelters. 

An officer in the Luhansk People’s Militia, which supports Russian forces, says that Ukrainian forces are using bomb shelters and the city’s industrial zone — a complex of heavy manufacturing plants — to resist.

Andrey Marochko, a lieutenant colonel in the militia, told Russian media that the Ukrainians are also using higher ground across the river to shell the militia.

“Nearby is the city of Lysychansk [which] is located on a hill and it is from there that the armed formations of Ukraine are firing at the city of Severodonetsk,” he said.

Marochko claimed that the Ukrainians’ main supply route from Bakhmut had been cut. “We control almost all logistics, but the enemy is trying in a roundabout way to supply this settlement by moving between forests on dirt roads.”

The Ukrainian side has acknowledged that it has become more difficult to use the main highway from Bakhmut because of constant shelling, and that it is using other ways of reaching the cities at the frontlines.

14 min agoJailed Kremlin critic Navalny says he may face up to 15 years in prison on new chargesFrom CNN’s Uliana Pavlova  

Alexey Navalny is seen on the screen during his legal appeal, in Moscow’s City Court, on May 24. (Getty Images)Jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny said Tuesday that he might face up to another 15 years in prison if found guilty of new charges for “creating an extremist organization.”  

“It turns out that I created an extremist group to incite hatred towards officials and oligarchs,” the Russian opposition leader said in an Instagram post.  

“For this, they are supposed to add another up to 15 years,” he said.  

In March, Navalny was sentenced to nine years in a maximum-security jail, after being convicted on fraud charges by the Lefortovo court in Moscow over allegations that he stole from his Anti-Corruption Foundation. The sentencing came while he was already serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence in a detention center east of the Russian capital after being arrested in February 2021 for violating probation terms.  

27 min agoPro-Russian official says operation in Severodonetsk “not as quick as we’d like”From CNN’s Tim Lister and Julia Presniakova

The leader of the self-declared Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), Leonid Pasechnik, says that the Russian operation to seize the city of Severodonetsk “is not going as fast as we would like.”

Quoted by the Russian news agency TASS, Pasechnik said the “liberation of the city is complicated by the defense in depth of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”

He said one-third of the city was now under the control of Russian and LPR forces.

“First of all, we want to preserve the city’s infrastructure as much as possible,” Pasechnik said — although Russian bombardment of Severodonetsk has been responsible for much of the destruction.

Pasechnik alleged that the goals of the Ukrainian side are “opposite, so their tactics of hiding behind the civilian population has been actively used in Severodonetsk since the beginning of the military operation.” 

Both sides report heavy fighting in the city itself, with several Ukrainian officials confirming that part of it is under Russian control.

36 min ago3 killed in Sloviansk as Russian forces continue missile strikes, Ukraine’s presidency says From CNN’s Tim Lister

Russian forces have continued missile and aerial attacks against targets in the Donetsk region, where the Ukrainian military says there are “battles along the entire front line.”

The Ukrainian president’s office said Tuesday that “there was an air strike on Sloviansk [overnight]. As a result, at least three people are dead and six were wounded. The school and seven high-rise buildings were damaged. Rescue work is underway, the number of victims and injured is being clarified.”

Sloviansk, a major target of the Russian offensive, has seen an uptick in indirect fire from Russian forces using missiles and aerial attacks.

In the neighboring Luhansk region, 90% of which is now under Russian control, the president’s office said that “the main efforts of the Russians are now focused on establishing control over Severodonetsk.” It said that they were continuing attacks on several neighboring towns and two civilians were killed. 

Ukrainian troops are still in Severodonetsk, but Russian forces control part of the city. Up to 15,000 civilians remain in the city, which is without power and water.

Elsewhere, there were additional Russian attacks across the border into the northern Sumy region by both aircraft and artillery, the presidency said.

50 min agoGerman economy minister: Europe’s “strength and determination” suffered during “wrangling” over new sanctions From CNN’s Inke Kappeler in Berlin  

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said Tuesday that Europe’s “strength and determination has certainly suffered” during the “wrangling” between the European Union member states over the new sanctions against Russia agreed by the bloc on Monday.  

“It’s a compromise, and perhaps we live in a time when too many compromises not only cloud but destroy clarity in the end. I’m certainly not happy about that,“ Habeck said during a news conference in Berlin. Habeck accused Hungarian leader Viktor Orban

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