Russian and Ukrainian forces are fighting fiercely and fighting for every neighborhood in Severodonetsk, a strategically important city for both sides.
Ukrainian forces today try to hold out in the city of Severodonetsk in the province LuganskEast Ukraineagainst an all-out Russian assault with a target they have concentrated their shelling on in recent days.
“We can say that 1/3 Severodonetsk already under the control of Russian forces”, the news agency TASS of Russia quoted Leonid Pasechnik, leader of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic, as saying.
He said fighting was raging in the city, but acknowledged that Russian forces were not advancing as quickly as expected. He claimed pro-Moscow forces wanted to “maintain the city’s infrastructure” and moved slowly because they were wary of the surrounding chemical plants.
Meanwhile, Oleksandr Stryuk, the head of the city government, said Russia controlled half of the Severodonetsk.
“The city has been divided, but the Ukrainian army is still holding out. It is still under Ukrainian control,” he said, warning those still trapped in the city to stay in shelters.
Military analysts say the fighting in Severodonetsk is a race against time by Russia. The city plays a key role in Moscow’s efforts to quickly complete control of the Donbass industrial region in eastern Ukraine, before Western heavy weapons reach enemy forces on the front lines.
“The Kremlin realizes that it cannot waste time and should take the last chance to expand its control area before Western weapons make things more difficult,” said Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov. speak.
Ukraine said Russia destroyed all of Severodonetsk’s vital infrastructure with relentless shelling, and massive casualties on the ground. Lugansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai said Russia was moving deep into the city center, but at a slow pace.
Gaidai said Ukrainian forces defending the city were unlikely to be encircled, as they could withdraw across the river. Siverskiy Donets to come Lysychanskthe city is located across the river opposite Severodonetsk.
Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, a long-running aid agency in the city of Severodonetsk, worries about 12,000 civilians are trapped in the city, living in conditions without food. drinking water, medicine and electricity.
Local officials estimate about 1,500 civilians have been killed in Severodonetsk since the military conflict broke out, partly due to fighting and partly due to lack of medicine and medical treatment.
Elsewhere on the Donbass battlefield there were no major changes. To the east, Ukraine says Russian forces are looking to attack areas along the main front, while also focusing on the city. Solviansk. To the south, Ukraine has in recent days announced a push back against Russian forces on the banks of the Inhulets river, along the border of Kherson province, which Moscow controls.
The Ukrainian Army’s Southern Operations Command said fighting and shelling continued in the area Khersonadding that many residents live without electricity, water, humanitarian aid and medicine.
Kirill Stremousov, deputy governor of the military-civilian administration of Kherson region, on May 31 revealed to the news agency TASS that the Kherson region “intended to join Russia in the near future, becoming an official part of Russia”.
Some cities in southern Ukraine such as Kherson, Melitopol “completely blocked from information”. In addition, Ukraine said that Russia also shelled the area Sumy near the country’s border.
Oleh Zhdanov, a Ukrainian military analyst, said Russia’s offensive in Severodonetsk and Lysychansk was part of an all-out offensive that Moscow launched recently. He said the intensity of the fighting and Russian attacks in recent days had taken Ukraine by surprise.
The British Ministry of Defense today assessed Russia’s “local success” in its operation in eastern Ukraine, but said that “this forces Russian forces to take risks elsewhere in the area they control”.
On weapons aid from the West, US President Joe Biden On May 30, the United States announced that the United States had no plans to send long-range rocketry systems to Ukraine, due to concerns that they could be used to strike targets on Russian territory, escalating tensions.
Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, called it a “reasonable” decision. “If our cities are attacked, Russian forces will strike the centers that make such decisions,” he warned.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said today that more than 9,000 civilians have been killed since the conflict broke out in Ukraine, of which more than 4,100 have died. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees also said more than 6.5 million people have been displaced from Ukraine and more than 7 million more internally displaced due to fighting.
Thanh Tam (Follow AFP, AP, Reuters)
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