Russian soldiers have surrounded the city of Sievierodonetsk. In a chemical plant in the city, Ukrainian soldiers are holding out, while some 500 civilians are believed to be sheltering inside, she added, recalling scenes from the Mariupol steel plant. Russian forces are also bombarding Sievierodonetsk’s sister-city Lysychansk, where civilians were being taken in recent days.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reiterated his urgent appeal for heavy weapons. In a statement on Tuesday, Zelenskyy expressed gratitude for what had been delivered so far, but that “it must come faster” if peace is to be achieved.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has forced many countries to rethink their security and foreign policy. It’s also helped unify western countries that often feuded with one another. That was especially the case in the European Union, which has had to find its way through multiple crises in the last decade.

Now Ukraine wants to join the bloc – and as soon as possible. Brussels is promising a quick decision on whether to award Ukraine candidate status – but that is only the first step in a long and complicated process. DW’s Brussels correspondent Christine Mhundwa spoke to Ukraine’s ambassador to the EU. She asked him why it was so important for Kyiv to get a signal from Brussels whether or not they would be granted the candadicy status.

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