After heavy fighting, Russian troops are partially in control and are approaching the center of the city of Severo Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.
“The situation is very complicated. Unfortunately, part of the city of Severo Donetsk is currently occupied by the army Russia Control and Russian soldiers are gradually advancing towards the city center,” Sergei Gede, the governor of eastern Ukraine’s Luhansk province, announced on TV today.
However, Gaijin denied news that Russia had taken over the entire city, claiming that the army Ukraine Still in control of parts of Severo Donetsk, Russian forces “cannot move freely”.
The governor of Luhansk province said the defenders of Severo Donetsk were not in danger of being surrounded, as they were still able to retreat across the river to Resichansk.
The official also accused the Russian army of planning to “wipe out villages around Severo Donetsk” with the aim of taking complete control of the city.
A day earlier, Mr Guede admitted that when the Russian army enter the center North Donetsk. Important urban infrastructure was damaged, and 60% of residential buildings were damaged beyond repair.
Guede said there were about 15,000 civilians in the city, up from about 100,000 before the fighting broke out. Civilian evacuation is currently suspended due to the dangerous situation of the fighting.
“The remainder of Luhansk controlled by Ukrainian government forces is under full-scale shelling,” the official added.
Earlier on the same day, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said that Russia “is concentrating on the occupation of the entire city of Severo Donetsk”. “In Lehman, 60 kilometers from Severo-Donetsk, Russia is gathering troops and preparing for a new offensive. Russian troops had previously had to withdraw after heavy losses following exploratory attacks.
Russia launched a special military operation on February 24 to “demilitarize and de-fascize Ukraine”. After more than three months of operations, it is assessed that Russian forces are slowly but surely advancing deep into the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.
Severo-Donetsk is one of the important urban centers that control the objectives of the entire Luhansk region of Russia. Russian troops previously took control of Lehman, a smaller city and rail hub in the region.
Russian troops intensified their offensive in Severo Donetsk over the weekend after breaking through the defenses of the southern Ukrainian town of Popasnaya. If it takes control of Severo-Donetsk, Russia will have an important springboard to push westward and target Kramatorsk, where Ukraine’s Donbas regional military command is located.
Xuanle (follow AFP, CNN)