Russian success in Donbass: Ukrainian army is to evacuate Severodonetsk

Nfter weeks of bitter resistance against the Russian attackers, the Ukrainian army is forced to withdraw from the strategically important city of Severodonetsk in the east of the country. The withdrawal of Ukrainian troops had been ordered, the governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Hajdaj, said on Friday in the online service Telegram. The Russian units had recently taken over the city almost completely.

The city is practically “in ruins” because of the constant bombing by Russian troops, the governor said. “It’s just pointless to stay in positions that have been under constant fire for months.” The entire strategic infrastructure of the industrial city has been destroyed. “90 percent of the city is damaged, 80 percent of the houses will have to be demolished.”

The capture of Severodonetsk in the Luhansk region is a strategically important goal for Russia. After heavy street fighting, Ukrainian units and hundreds of civilians hid in the Azot chemical plant. The Ukrainian army also fired on the Russian attackers from neighboring Lysychansk.

The declared goal of the Russian armed forces is to take over the entire Donbass region, which also includes the Donetsk region. Parts of the economically important area in eastern Ukraine have been controlled by pro-Russian separatists since 2014.

The neighboring cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk are around 80 kilometers east of Kramatorsk, the capital of the Ukrainian-controlled part of the Donetsk region. Before the start of the Russian offensive, Severodonetsk had around 100,000 inhabitants.

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