Severodonetsk falls to Russia after one of the bloodiest battles of the war


Kyiv / Pokrovsk, Ukraine — Russian troops have completely occupied Sieviero Donetsk, the mayor of eastern Ukraine said on Saturday.

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.

The fall of Severodonetsk was Russia’s biggest 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 wants to push banks on the other side to occupy more land, but Ukraine will counterattack Russian troops in the coming weeks with the price Moscow paid to occupy the ruins of a small city. On the other hand, I want to be defenseless.

“The city is now under complete occupation of Russia. They are trying to establish their own order, as far as I know they have appointed a commander of some sort,” said Mayor Oleksandr Strike. Said on TV.

Ukraine’s military intelligence director, Kirilo Budanov, told Reuters that Ukraine is conducting a “tactical reorganization” by withdrawing troops from Severodonetsk to hills across the river.

“Russia uses the tactics used in Mariupol. It wipes the city 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 skyline of the city center can be seen through the destroyed office building that was bombarded. The area was unattacked for weeks in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on June 25, 2022. (Leah Millis / Reuters)

Russia’s Interfax news agency has represented pro-Russian separatist fighters, saying that Russian and pro-Russian troops have crossed the river into Lysychans’k and are fighting in urban areas there. Quoted.

Russian missiles have poured into the western, northern and southern parts of the country.

Russians have recently forcibly crossed the river and are advancing towards Lysychans’k, threatening to surround Ukrainians in the region.

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 top general Valerii Zaluzhny wrote that he arrived at the Telegram app on Saturday. An advanced US-supplied HIMARS rocket system was deployed and targeted in the Russian occupied territories of Ukraine.

Asked about potential counterattacks in the South, Ukraine’s military intelligence director Budaniv argued that Ukraine should begin seeing results “from August.”

“Wait a minute, we’ll see what it brings,” he told Reuters.

Russian missiles also attacked elsewhere throughout Ukraine overnight with unusually large volleys.

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.

Ukraine during the war
Ukrainian soldiers with dogs observe in the industrial area of ​​the city of Severodonetsk on June 20, 2022. (Oleksandr Ratushniak TPX Images of the Day / Reuters)

Ukrainian western support

Despite the retreat of the battlefield, Kyiv imposed sanctions on Russia and gained support from the West sending weapons to Ukraine.

Leaders of the Group of Seven’s rich democracies will be able to show long-term support for Ukraine and discuss how to tighten Russia’s screws at a three-day summit in Germany starting on Sunday. It is expected.

Participating British Prime Minister Boris Johnson fears that Ukraine may face pressure to agree on a peace agreement and that Putin’s surrender to Ukraine could endanger international security. He said he was.

As a major sign of support, European Union leaders have approved a formal candidacy for Ukraine this week. Russia said on Friday that it was equivalent to the EU’s “slavery” of neighboring countries.

By Tom Balmforth and Marko Djurica