Ukraine has remained an influential route for Russian gas to Europe even since the Feb. 24 invasion, which President Vladimir Putin names a “special military operation.”
Mounting Western sanctions aims to ban or phase out the use of Russian energy, a key source of funds for Putin’s war effort and exposure for Europe, particularly Germany.
Blaming the presence of occupying forces for the suspension, Ukraine’s gas pipeline operator spoke it would divert gas from the Sokhranivka transit point, inhabited by Russian troops, to another in a Ukraine-controlled area.
Submissions for Russian gas transit for May 11 via Sokhranivka dropped to zero, data from the operator revealed early on Wednesday.
Since Russia was compelled to abandon an assault on the capital Kyiv at the end of March, its main force has been attempting to encircle Ukrainian troops in the eastern Donbas region, using Izyum near Ukraine’s second city Kharkiv, in the northeast, as a base.
Whereas Ukrainian troops have mostly held out against assaults and, in recent days, recaptured four settlements north of Kharkiv, Tetiana Apatchenko, a press officer with the main Ukrainian force in the area, spoke on Tuesday.
A new phase of the conflict
Russian forces were attempting to prevent Ukrainian troops from moving further towards the border in the Kharkiv region and trying to seize the town of Rubizhne fully. Ukraine’s general staff spoke early on Wednesday.
Across the border, the governor of Russia’s Belgorod region stated on his Telegram channel that a “yellow,” second-highest, security alert would be maintained there until May 25. The area has come under periodic attack from Ukrainian forces.
A Ukrainian counterattack near Kharkiv could signal a new stage of the conflict, potentially making supply lines into Russia weak.
President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke Ukrainian successes gradually pushed Russian forces out of Kharkiv, which had been under bombardment since the war began.