Russian troops advanced on Wednesday towards taking control of Severodonetsk, a major city in Ukraine’s Lugansk province. Luhansk Governor Sergiy Gaiday said the Russians had taken control of 70% of the city and Ukrainian forces were retreating to prepared positions.
“If in two or three days the Russians take control of Severodonetsk, they will install artillery and mortars and shell Lysychansk more intensively”, the city held by the Ukrainians on the other side of the river, he said. he stated on Telegram.
After failing to capture the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, Russia has focused its firepower on the eastern region of Donbass where Russia is supporting separatist elements by proxy. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the campaign in the east had been expensive, with 60 to 100 soldiers dying every day.
“The situation in the east is very difficult,” Zelensky told US newsgroup Newsmax.
With only Lysychansk remaining as a pocket of resistance in the eastern Lugansk region, Severodonetsk became a target of massive Russian firepower.
Read also | Antony Blinken expects “several months” of Russian-Ukrainian war
Oleksander Motuzianyk, spokesman for the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, said there was fighting in the streets of Severodonetsk and the Russians had reached the city center.
“The Ukrainian Armed Forces are actively resisting them,” he said.
In a boost for Ukraine’s overwhelmed military, President Joe Biden has confirmed longer-range weapons are on the way.
The new weapon is the Himars Multiple Launch Rocket System, or MLRS, a mobile unit that can simultaneously launch multiple precision-guided missiles up to 80 kilometers (50 miles).
(With agency contributions)
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