In the fierce battle for the eastern Ukrainian city of Sieverodonetsk, Russian troops have gained territory and entered a suburb. “By shelling and storming, the enemy achieved partial success in the village of Metyolkine and is trying to establish itself there,” the Ukrainian general staff said in its situation report on Saturday evening.

The large village of Metyolkine is located south-east of Sieverodonetsk. Chechen ruler Ramzan Kadyrov had previously said that Russian forces had completely taken over the town. The Russian armed forces are deploying several units from Chechnya with thousands of gunmen in Ukraine.

In Metyolkine, officers and soldiers of the Ukrainian Ajdar battalion were voluntarily taken prisoner, the Russian agency TASS reported, citing the pro-Russian separatists of the Luhansk People’s Republic. This information could not be independently verified.

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expects the war in Ukraine to last for years. “We have to prepare for the fact that it could take years,” he told the “Bild am Sonntag”. Therefore, one should not let up in supporting Ukraine against Russia.

The cost of doing so is high because military aid is expensive and energy and food prices are rising. But that is no comparison to the price that Ukraine pays every day with many lives, said Stoltenberg. If the Russian President Vladimir Putin is not resolutely opposed, “then we will pay a much higher price”.