After Ukrainian fighters in Severodonetsk withdrew to the outskirts of the eastern Ukrainian city on Wednesday, vowing to fight for as long as possible, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stressed that this “brutal battle will determine the fate of the Donbass region”.
Thursday also added in a video speech broadcast on social media: “This is a very brutal and difficult battle, perhaps one of the most difficult battles of this war.”
He explained that “Severodonetsk is still at the center of the confrontation in the east of the country”, reiterating that “it is considered in largely the place in which is now determined the fate of the Donbass “.
98% of Lugansk is with the Russians
The comments came after Lugansk governor Serhiy Gaidai warned that the city center had been destroyed. “Our fighters are steadfast in the industrial region of Severodonetsk, but the fighting is taking place not only in that region, but in the same city of Severodonetsk, “he added yesterday in statements on Ukrainian television.
He also pointed out that “Ukrainian forces still fully control the city opposite Lyschansk, on the west bank of the Seversky Donets River, but Russian forces are destroying residential buildings there.”
Furthermore, he pointed out that Russia now controls over 98 percent of Lugans, which, together with Donetsk, makes up the Donbass region, a region in which many of the residents speak Russian.
Severodonetsk and Lesichansk, separated by a river, are the last two cities still under Ukrainian control in Luhansk.
wild lane opening
Interestingly, fighting has intensified in eastern Ukraine in recent weeks, in particularly in Severodonetsk, considered a key city in the Donbass region, whose fall will pave the way for Russian control of the great Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region, the last stronghold of Ukrainian forces to the east.
Russia aims to control the entire Donbas basin, after being partially seized by pro-Moscow separatists in 2014, with the aim of opening a land corridor connecting the east with Crimea, which in the same year it annexed to the its territory.
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