Ukrainian troops on Monday admitted for the first time that Russian troops had taken over the major Donbus city of Severodonetsk in Luhansk Oblast.
“In the direction of Severodonetsk, the enemy, with the help of artillery, carried out an assault operation in the city of Severodonetsk, with partial success and alienating our troops from the city center. The battle continues. “The Army General Staff Headquarters in Ukraine Said In the statement.
Also on Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said fighting was intensifying near Severodonetsk, and according to CNBC, Russian and Ukrainian troops are “fighting for all meters” of the territory. “. He said last week that strategic cities could determine the outcome of the conflict that began on February 24th.
The city is located in the heart of the Donbas region, where sporadic battles have fought since pro-Russian groups hijacked parts of Donetsk and Luhansk after the color revolution in Kieu in 2014.
“The situation is still difficult. The fight continues, but unfortunately most of the city is under Russian control. Some positional battles are taking place on the streets,” said the governor of the Luhansk region of Ukraine. One Serhiy Haidai told CNN on Monday.
Russian officials have signaled that the main goal of the invasion is to connect the Crimean Peninsula with the Donbus region, which borders Russia. Moscow withdrew most of its troops from the western and Kyiv regions of Ukraine in order to seize more territory in the eastern and southern parts of the country.
“Unfortunately, the enemy’s cannon is just demolishing the floor-to-floor building used as a shelter. In that sense, the enemy is knocked out of a straight road, with tanks, cannons, and graduates. It’s difficult because we start dismantling the neighborhood for each house, “said Haidai.
Pro-Moscow separatists said the last bridge from Sieviero Donetsk was destroyed, blocking the defender’s escape route. Ukraine said the route was badly damaged, but there are still alternatives, Reuters reported.
Ukraine is increasingly urgently calling for more western heavy weapons to protect Sieviero Donetsk.
“Apart from constant cannon, aircraft and rocket bombing, there is a real risk that Severodonetsk defenders could be separated from Lysychans’k if the third bridge connecting the two cities is destroyed,” said International. Damian McGraw, a military spokesman, said. Ukrainian defense that had an army in Sieviero Donetsk.
Reuters contributed to this report.