Ukraine: troops holding on in Sievierodonetsk despite being 'outnumbered 5 to 1' | Ukraine latest

The Ukrainian military said it is repelling Russian attacks near the key Donbas city of Sievierodonetsk. Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin has compared himself to Peter the Great.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak has responded to Vladimir Putin’s comparing himself to Peter the Great on the 350th anniversary of his birth. He said the comment showed, “there was no ‘conflict,’ only the country’s bloody seizure under contrived pretexts of people’s genocide.” Podolyak responded to a speech by the present-day Russian leader comparing Russia’s current conflict in Ukraine with Peter’s 21-year war with Sweden. Podolyak wrote on Twitter that Putin’s utterances made it clear that the world should not talk about “saving [Russian] face” but about “immediate de-imperialization.”

President Vladimir Putin spoke of the need for Russia to “take back (territory) and defend itself” in a speech to mark the 350th anniversary of Tsar Peter the Great’s birth. Putin compared himself to the conquering monarch and drew parallels between Peter’s founding of St. Petersburg and his own government’s annexation of territory. Peter the Great gave his name to St. Petersburg — Putin’s hometown — that he ordered built on land he conquered from Sweden. “When he founded the new capital, no European country recognized it as Russia. Everybody recognized it as Sweden,” Putin said. “And Slavic people had always lived there along with Finno-Ugric people, and the territory was under the control of the Russian state.'”What was he doing? Taking back and reinforcing. That’s what he did. And it looks like it fell on us to take back and reinforce as well,” he said. A senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy rejected Putin’s comments as an attempt to legalize the theft of land. “The West must draw a clear red line so the Kremlin understands the price of each next bloody step … we will brutally liberate our territories,” Mykhailo Podolyak said in an online post.

The Ukrainian armed forces said its troops are still holding onto the key Donbas city of Sievierodonetsk amid heavy Russian attacks. “The occupiers, with the help of motorized rifle units and artillery, conducted assault operations in the city of Sievierodonetsk. They were not successful; the fighting continues,” the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a update. The Ukrainian military said it fought back Russian forces from the village of Toshkivkha, located near Sievierodonetsk.

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