Fierce battles between Ukrainian and Russian troops are taking place in the strategically important city of Severodonetsk.
Alice Messinis | Afp | Getty Images
Russian troops took full control of the city of Severodonetsk in eastern Ukraine on Saturday, both sides said, for more than a month after some of the bloodiest battles of the war on Kieu’s largest battlefield. Confirmed retreat.
Ukraine called the withdrawal from the city a “tactical withdrawal” in order to fight from the hills of Lysychans’k on the other side of the Donets River. Pro-Russian separatists said Moscow troops are currently attacking Lysychans’k.
Once inhabited by more than 100,000 people, the collapse of Severodonetsk, now a wasteland, has been Russia’s greatest victory since it occupied Mariupol’s shipping last month. It will change the eastern battlefield a few weeks after the great benefits of Moscow’s firepower were only slow profits.
Russia now pushes banks on the other side to occupy more land, but Ukraine pays Moscow to occupy the ruins of a small city, leaving Russian troops vulnerable to counterattacks. I want
President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed in a video speech that Ukraine will regain the lost city, including Severodonetsk. But acknowledging the emotional sacrifice of war, he said: “How long it will last, how much blow, loss and effort will be needed before we see the victory imminent. I have no sense of what it is. “
“The city is now under complete occupation of Russia,” Severodonetsk Mayor Oleksandr Strike said on national television. “They are trying to establish their own order, as far as I know they have appointed a commander of some sort.”
Ukraine’s military intelligence director, Kirilo Budanov, told Reuters that Ukraine is carrying out a “tactical reorganization” by withdrawing troops from Severodonetsk.
“Russia uses the tactics used in Mariupol: clearing cities from the surface of the earth,” he said. “Given the conditions, it is no longer possible to maintain defense in the ruins and open fields. Therefore, Ukrainian troops are leaving for high ground to continue their defense operations.”
The Russian Ministry of Defense said Russian troops had complete control over Sieviero Donetsk and the nearby town of Boribske “as a result of a successful attack operation.”
Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted representatives of pro-Russian separatist fighters who said Russian and pro-Russian troops had crossed the river into Lysychans’k, where they were fighting in urban areas.
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In the Ukrainian-owned town of Pokrovsk, Elena, an elderly woman in a wheelchair from Lysychans’k, was one of the dozens of refugees arriving by bus from the front lines.
“Lysychans’k was scary last week. I couldn’t accept it anymore yesterday,” she said. “When I die, I have already told her husband, bury me behind her house.”
In the fifth month of Europe’s largest land conflict since World War II, Russian missiles also flooded the west, north and south of the country.
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent tens of thousands of troops across the border, killing thousands and unleashing a conflict that eradicated millions. It also caused an energy and food crisis that has shaken the world economy.
After being defeated in the assault on the capital Kyiv in March, Russian troops shifted their focus to the eastern territory of Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts. Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk were the last major Ukrainian fortresses in Luhansk.
Russians have recently forcibly crossed the river and are advancing towards Lysychans’k, threatening to surround Ukrainians in the region.
The capture of Severodonetsk could be seen as evidence of Russia’s switch from an early failed attempt at the “Lightning War” to a relentless attack using eastern artillery.
Moscow says Luhansk and Donetsk, which have been boosting the uprising since 2014, are independent countries. It requires Ukraine to ceded the entire territory of the two states to a separatist government.
Ukrainian officials have never had great hopes of retaining Severodonetsk, but have sought exactly enough height to run out of Russian troops.
Top Ukrainian general Valerii Zaluzhny wrote that the newly arrived Telegram app was equipped with a US-provided advanced HIMARS rocket system to hit targets in the Russian occupied territories of Ukraine.
Asked about potential counterattacks in the South, Ukraine’s military intelligence director Budaniv told Reuters that Ukraine should begin seeing results “from August.”
Russian missiles also attacked elsewhere overnight. “48 cruise missiles. At night. All over Ukraine,” Ukrainian President Mihairo Podriak said on Twitter. “Russia is still trying to intimidate Ukraine, causing panic.”
The governor of the Lviv region of western Ukraine said six missiles were launched from the Black Sea at a base near the Polish border. Four hit the target, but two were destroyed.
In the north, the governor of the Zhytomyr region said at least one soldier had died in a strike against a military target. Mayor Mykolaiv near the Black Sea said five cruise missiles attacked the city and its surroundings on Saturday.
Russia has denied targeting civilians. Kyiv and the West say Russian troops have committed war crimes against civilians.
The war had a major impact on the world economy and Europe’s security, pushing up gas, oil and food prices, urging the European Union to reduce Russia’s dependence on energy and urging Finland and Sweden to join NATO.
The Group of Seven’s rich democracies are expected to show their support for Ukraine and discuss further measures against Russia at the summit.
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson is concerned that Ukraine may face pressure to agree on a peace agreement and that Putin’s surrender to Ukraine could endanger international security. Stated.