War on Ukraine: Kyiv orders withdrawal from Sieverodonetsk

Status: 06/24/2022 10:02 a.m

The eastern Ukrainian city of Sievjerodonetsk has been heavily contested for a good month. Ukraine has now ordered the withdrawal of its troops. Russia is thus getting closer to one of its main goals: conquering the Luhansk region.

Four months after the start of the war, Ukraine has ordered the withdrawal of its troops from the embattled city of Sieverodonetsk in the east of the country. That’s what the governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Hajday, said on TV. Sievjerodonetsk has so far been one of the last parts of Luhansk that has not yet been conquered by Russian and pro-Russian fighters.

“It’s a situation now where there’s no point in staying in battered positions,” said Hajdaj. The number of dead would then rise sharply. “Therefore, our defenders who are there have already received orders to retreat to new positions and conduct normal, full-fledged military operations from there.”

City almost completely destroyed

According to the governor, up to 90 percent of the houses in Sievjerodonetsk have now been destroyed. “The Russians are advancing without saving ammunition or troops, and they are not running out of either,” Hajdaj told the AP news agency. “They have an advantage in heavy artillery and number of soldiers.”

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 and has for weeks focused on attacks in the neighboring country’s east. The capture of the Luhansk region – as well as that of the adjacent Donetsk region – is one of Russia’s main stated goals.

conflicting parties as a source

Information on the course of the war, shelling and casualties provided by official bodies of the Russian and Ukrainian conflict parties cannot be directly checked by an independent body in the current situation.

Sievjerodonetsk is considered strategically particularly important. Should the industrial city fall, almost the entire Luhansk region would be in Russian hands, with the exception of the neighboring city of Lyssychansk, which was also heavily contested. This would give the Russian army and its separatist allies a major boost in their attempt to take full control of the Donbass.

Troops are advancing on Lysychansk

The major city of Sievjerodonetsk in Luhansk was most recently under the control of Russian troops, even if they still encountered resistance. In the nearby town of Lysychansk, Russian soldiers also advanced to the outskirts.

According to the British Ministry of Defense, Ukrainian soldiers withdrew from some areas near Lysychansk to avoid encirclement. The Ukrainian General Staff announced that Russian troops had taken the villages of Loskutivka and Raj-Oleksandrivka and were trying to take the settlement of Syrotyne in front of Sieverodonetsk.

Killed in military plane crash

Meanwhile, the Interfax news agency reported that four people had died when a military transport plane crashed. Five others were injured near the city of Ryazan, 200 kilometers south-east of Moscow, the agency reported, citing the regional administration. The Russian Ministry of Defense had previously announced that an engine malfunction had been detected on the Ilyushin Il-76 machine during a training flight. The crew therefore decided to make an emergency landing, during which the aircraft was badly damaged.

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