In the newest blow for Kyiv’s forces in the nation’s east, Russian forces demolished the final surviving bridge to Severodonetsk, severing Ukrainian supply lines and consolidating control over the important city.
The Last Bridge to a Key Eastern Ukrainian City is Destroyed by Russian Forces
Russian forces resumed assaulting a chemical facility in Severodonetsk, according to the governor of the Luhansk region, where Severodonetsk is situated, on Tuesday. The city is offering refuge for hundreds of citizens and soldiers battling to stop Russia’s assault.
After failing to take Kyiv and other parts of the country in the early stages of the war, Russia shifted to a more narrowly focused military assault aimed at capturing Ukrainian territory in the largely Russian-speaking east.
Russia’s gradual but consistent gains since concentrating its troops and weapons in eastern Ukraine imply that its restricted objectives are now more in line with its military capabilities.
The prospect of Severodonetsk’s spacious Azot plant serving as an ultimate holdout for Ukrainian troops protecting civilians has made comparisons to the long-running fight for Mariupol in Ukraine’s southeast, where hundreds of civilians took shelter on the grounds of a steelworks after Russia increased its bombing in early March.
Azot, a chemical company that hired 7,000 people before the war and is one of Europe’s largest, has a system of tunnels that have been filled with individuals fleeing the bloodshed. Authorities reported a fire broke out at the facility over the weekend as a result of Russian bombardment, raising fears that civilians dug down on its grounds are in danger.
Should Severodonetsk fall in the days ahead, Russia will take nearly complete control of Ukraine’s Luhansk area, putting Kyiv’s forces on the back foot as Moscow presses on to Lysychansk and then on to Slovyansk and Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region.
Last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that the city is so essential for the country that the struggle would likely determine the conclusion of the eastern conflict.
Severodonetsk’s destruction is comparable to Mariupol, where much of the city had been reduced to ruins by the time Russia announced its capture in April.
Serhiy Haidai, the regional governor of Luhansk, stated on Tuesday that officials are frequently unable to collect the bodies of civilians killed in Severodonetsk bombing campaigns or to rescue residents anxious to flee the city. Ukraine said that tens of thousands of civilians had been murdered as a result of the battle in Mariupol.
The third bridge connecting Severodonetsk with Lysychansk across the Siverskyi Donets river was demolished on Tuesday, according to Oleksandr Stryuk, the Ukrainian mayor of Severodonetsk.
“The city is not cut off from the rest of the world.” “There are some problematic but yet accessible connections,” he stated, without going into specifics. Around 550 people remain in the Azot plant’s basements, according to him, but it is being shelled heavily. “The enemy is effectively splintering our most important enterprise.”
The top of the Russian Defense Ministry’s National Defense Control Center, Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev, said on Tuesday that Moscow and its proxy forces in the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic were prepared to remove civilians from Azot which is a humanitarian hallway would be established on Wednesday to transmit civilians to transitional shelters. The offer has elicited no response from Ukraine.
The struggle for Severodonetsk appears to remain Moscow’s focus, according to the UK Ministry of Defense, but the Russian forces have made tiny gains in the area around Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, to the north for the first time in several weeks after being forced to out of in late March.
Mr. Zelensky claimed the war for command of cities in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas will “gain entry into military history as one of the most terrible fights in Europe” in a video speech on Monday evening.
He said that the only thing preventing Ukraine’s military from recapturing cities captured by Russia, including Kherson, Mariupol, Melitopol, and Enerhodar, was a lack of armaments, leaving it exposed to Russia’s constant artillery barrages.
“We are paying a very heavy price for this struggle,” he said. “And every day, we remind our allies that only a substantial supply of modern weaponry to Ukraine will ensure our superiority and, eventually, the end of Russia’s disgrace of Ukraine’s Donbas.”
New military supplies have been offered by the West, and more are anticipated to be disclosed before the presidents of France, Germany, and Italy’s expected trip to Kyiv this week.
However, there are disagreements in Europe about whether the benefits of arming Ukraine overweigh the benefits of reaching an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose government has chosen to profit handsomely from oil and gas exports, which totaled 93 billion euros ($96.8 billion) during first 100 days of the war, as per Finland’s Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air.
“Speak with them and inform them about Ukraine.” Say the truth to them. “Offer them liberation is on the way,” he said. “Notify everyone who is compelled to view the Russian flag flying over our Ukrainian territory. Inform them that the Ukrainian army will undoubtedly arrive.”
One of the roadblocks to large-scale deployment of Western weaponry has been the United States’ concern that Kyiv may use them to strike targets inside Russia, which continues to attack Kharkiv and other Ukrainian cities from its borders.
Following a series of conflagrations that damaged vital installations in the Belgorod region, Russia has accused Ukraine of attacking Russian territory.
An explosion struck the Russian village of Klintsy in the Bryansk area on Tuesday, causing damage to 30 kilometers of the Ukraine border.
The governor of the Bryansk area, Aleksandr Bogomaz, said four persons were hurt in the explosion, which also destroyed several residential buildings. Last month, the Belgorod region reported the first Russian civilian casualty linked to the fighting, citing Ukrainian attacks.
Meanwhile, officials in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, which declared independence from Ukraine in 2014 with Russian armaments and funding, reported Tuesday that five people had died as a consequence of Ukrainian troops’ shelling. Ukraine has not claimed responsibility, and the assertion has not been independently corroborated.
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, described the shelling of civilian objects as “extremely cruel.”
Since the beginning of the war, Russia has blasted Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure, resulting in tens of thousands of civilian casualties, according to Ukraine.
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The most recent Russian forces demonstrations were registered in the Lviv and Ternopil districts. The wreckage of a Russian rocket shot down by Ukraine’s anti-aircraft system over the Lviv region on Tuesday injured four persons, according to local authorities.