Day 98 of war in Ukraine: Missiles for Ukrainian defence pledged also by Germany and UK, invaders control 70% of Severodonetsk

On Thursday, June 2, in the Donbas frontline, Russian forces control 70% of the territory of the city Severodonetsk and seek to attack nearby Lysychansk. The artillery missile systems long requested by Ukraine, have now been pledged by the US government and the government of the United Kingdom, while Germany has said it would send surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine, according to Ukrinform, the Institute for the Study of War, Nexta TV and Reuters report.
«Russians now control nearly 70% of Severodonetsk. The Ukrainian command opted in favour of an organized gradual retreat to Lysychansk, which is more convenient for defence, rather than holding the ground until the last man standing,» evaluated Kyiv Independent’s defence reported Illia Ponomarenko.
As to what could come next, he added that Russian forces would now continue with their frontal attacks on Lysychansk and attempts to cross the river of Siverskyi Donets between the twin cities. «Their attempts to strike the Ukrainian rear and surround the garrison have been unsuccessful. So they go frontal at any price, why not,» Ponomarenko wrote on Twitter referring to the fact that Russian forces have been trying since March to seize Severodonetsk and Lysychansk and had much less success than the Kremlin would have liked to.
In the south, according to the Institute for the Study of War, Russian forces destroyed bridges that Ukrainian forces used in a counterattack and other bridges across the Ihulets River in an effort to hold against anticipated continued Ukrainian counter-offensive operations.
The Institute evaluated that Ukrainian forces are likely still close enough to the key T2205 highway to disrupt its use as a main supply route, potentially undermining the Russians’ ability to hold against Ukrainian counter-offensives from the north in the Kherson Region.
Europeans follow US example with heavy weapons
The US government has announced that it would send HIMARS multiple-launch missile systems to Ukraine as well as artillery radars. Reuters reports that the Joe Biden administration plans to sell Ukraine four MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones that can be armed with Hellfire missiles. Legislators in the US Congress, however, can block the move.
Following Washington’s example, the United Kingdom has stated that it would send multiple-launch rocket systems to Ukraine to help defend itself against Russia. According to British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace these would be M270 launchers able to strike targets up to 80 kilometres away.
«As Russian’s tactics change, so must our support to Ukraine. (..) These highly capable multiple-launch rocket systems will enable our Ukrainian friends to better protect themselves against Russia’s brutal use of long-range artillery, which Putin’s forces have used indiscriminately to flatten cities,» Wallace reasoned.
Germany that has been criticised for being slow and unwilling to make decision on serious arms supplies to Ukraine, has announced plans to send surface-to-air weapons to Ukraine. Nexta TV reported quoting Reuters that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that the German government has decided to supply modern IRIS-T SL air defence systems to Ukraine.
Zelenskyy talks to refugee children
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke to Ukrainian refugee children via video link with Poland.
«We will do everything we can to bring you all back. Bring all of you back as children, not adults. That is, bring you back soon. It is very important for us that you build our country and our future because you are our beautiful future, for which we are all fighting today. Therefore, we will do everything to return you as soon as possible, but I want us to return you to a safe Ukraine,» he said on the International Children’s Day.
Finally, the BNN offers to watch the latest video address by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.