|Zelensky accuses Moscow of senseless bombing|
Having failed to capture the Ukrainian capital since launching a full-scale invasion in February, Russia is using mass artillery and armor to try to seize more territory in the Donbas, which consists of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which Moscow claims in the name of pro-Russian separatists. “The invaders tried to apply more pressure. It's hell over there (Donbas) - and it's not an exaggeration," Zelenskyy said in his speech on Thursday (19/5/2022), quoted from Al Jazeera. Zelensky said 12 people had died in a "brutal and completely senseless bombing" in the city of Severodonetsk in the Luhansk region on Thursday.
“(There are) constant attacks in the Odesa region, in cities in central Ukraine. The Donbas are absolutely devastated,” he said. "This was a deliberate and criminal attempt to kill as many Ukrainians as possible, destroying as many homes, social facilities and businesses as possible." The defense ministry in Kyiv said on Thursday that Russian troops were preventing civilians in the Donbas from escaping into Ukrainian-controlled territory. Severodonetsk and its sister city Lysychansk are the last pockets of Ukrainian resistance in the smaller of the two regions that comprise the Donbas war zone. Russian troops had surrounded both of them and bombarded them to try and weaken the resistance and deprived the population of supplies.
The residents who are still in the ghost town are now afraid to take more than a few steps outside their front door. Russia is likely to strengthen its operations in the Donbas industrial area once it secures the city of Mariupol, British military intelligence said on Friday morning (20/5/2022). The United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, accused Russia on Thursday (19/5/2022) of using food as a weapon in Ukraine. Blinken accused Russia of holding food supplies hostage not only to millions of Ukrainians, but also to millions around the world who depend on Ukrainian exports.
Before the UN Security Council, Blinken called on Russia to stop blockading Ukrainian ports. "The Russian government seems to think that using food as a weapon will help achieve what the invasion has not done, to discourage the Ukrainian people," he said. "Food supplies for millions of Ukrainians and millions more around the world have been literally taken hostage by the Russian military," he explained. The war in Ukraine has caused global prices for grain, cooking oil, fuel and fertilizer to soar.
Russia and Ukraine together account for nearly a third of the global grain supply. Ukraine is also a major exporter of corn, barley, sunflower oil and rapeseed oil.
Russia and Belarus, which have supported Moscow in its war on Ukraine, account for more than 40 percent of global exports of potassium, a plant nutrient. Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said it was a big mistake if Russia was to blame for the global food crisis that has been going on for several years. He accused Ukraine of holding foreign ships in its ports and mining the waters and said the Russian military had repeatedly tried to open safe corridors for ships. Nebenzia blamed Western sanctions imposed on Moscow over the Ukraine war for having a dire effect on Russia's exports of food and fertilizer.
Blinken rejected Russia's claim that sanctions triggered a food crisis. "The decision to arm food belongs to Moscow itself," Blinken said. "As a result of the actions of the Russian government, some 20 million tonnes of grain is being used in Ukrainian silos as the global food supply decreases, prices skyrocket, causing more and more around the world to experience food insecurity," he said. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is trying to broker a "package deal" that would allow Ukraine to resume food exports via the Black Sea and revive Russian food and fertilizer production to world markets. "There is enough food for everyone in the world. The problem is distribution, and this is very much related to the war in Ukraine," Guterres told the council.