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Day 103 of hostilities: Ukraine says situation worsens in Severodonetsk

The Lugansk province official said that the position of the Ukrainian army in Severodonetsk is deteriorating, in the context of Russia pouring more forces into the battle here.

“The defense forces launched a counterattack and regained almost half Severodonetsk. However, the situation continues to deteriorate,” Lugansk governor Serhiy Gaidai said on national television Ukraine June 6, but did not give details.

His comments came a day after Mr Gaidai announced the Ukrainian army had launched a counter-offensive operation and took control of half of the eastern city of Severodonetsk, and warned his forces. Russia will “go all out” to take the city completely in the next few days.

Ukrainian soldiers deployed in Severodonetsk, eastern Ukraine, in late February. Photo: AFP.

Ukrainian soldiers deployed in Severodonetsk, eastern Ukraine, at the end of February. Photo: AFP.

Ukrainian and Russian units are fighting fiercely on every street, neither side has gained a clear upper hand. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky acknowledged that the Russian military had the upper hand in strength and “the situation is very difficult”, but affirmed that the Ukrainian army has a “opportunity to fight back” after some local leaders said that Kiev was trying to fight back. lose advantage.

Severodonetsk and the city Lysychansk are two of the last positions of the Ukrainian army in the Lugansk province. If Russia controls this city, it will have an important springboard to push west and target Kramatorsk, where Ukraine’s Donbass regional military command is located.

Russian forces continue towards the city Sloviansk, about 85 kilometers west of Severodonetsk, to seek to encircle Ukrainian units in the Donbass region. The Russian Ministry of Defense announced that it had shot down a MiG-29 fighter of the Ukrainian Air Force near Sloviansk, and released a video showing an anti-aircraft missile being fired from a ammunition truck cum launcher of the S-300 complex. , then the scene of the MiG-29 fighter’s body on fire in the field.

Russia claims to have shot down Ukraine MiG-29 fighter

The body of a Ukrainian MiG-29 fighter that Russia claims to have shot down in a video released on June 6. Video: Russian Defense Forces.

Ukraine’s military says Russia is consolidating its position in the northeastern province Kharkiv and continuously shelled the enemy. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov announced that Russia shot down 13 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) over the province. Donetsk, LuganskKharkov and Zaporizhzhia in the past one day.

The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine announced that it had pushed the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy to an area more than 100 km from the coast. The agency said Russia is deploying coastal defense missile systems in the Crimean peninsula and the province Kherson in southern Ukraine, and at the same time mobilize more forces to the outpost island Zmiinyi off the southern port city Odessa.

“We prevented the Russian fleet from fully controlling the northwestern part of the Black Sea, now it has become a gray area and Russia is trying to regain control. Missile attacks from the sea direction are still threat, Russian warships also continue to block civilian maritime activities in the region,” Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said.

The Russian military has not commented on this information.

President Zelensky said Ukraine is receiving “several anti-ship weapons systems” from a number of countries, saying this is the best option to end the blockade of ports bordering the Black Sea.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the same day warned that Moscow would respond to the West’s transfer of long-range weapons to Kiev by pushing Ukrainian forces deep into its territory, far from Russia’s borders.

Russian forces have recently adopted a new tactic in eastern Ukraine, making the most of artillery fire on areas where enemy defenses are suspected. After the artillery changed lanes, Russian scouts with tanks and armor would cautiously advance, continuing to open fire on suspicious targets.

If the Ukrainian army returned fire, they would reveal their defensive positions. At that time, Russian armored reconnaissance and armored personnel carriers withdrew, instructing the target for long-range artillery to continue suppressing in order to crush the resistance of Ukrainian soldiers.

Military developments in Ukraine after 100 days of fighting.  Graphics: Washington Post.

Military developments in Ukraine after more than 100 days of fighting. Graphics: Washington Post.

According to an update from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the war in Ukraine has left 4,183 civilians dead and more than 5,000 injured. Actual numbers may be much higher than statistics because many areas are difficult to access and field reports are difficult to verify.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has so far recorded nearly 7 million Ukrainians leaving the country after February 24, when Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine.

Vu Anh (Follow Interfax, Reuters)

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