Withdrawal ordered: Ukraine gives up Sievjerodonetsk for the time being

order to withdraw
Ukraine gives up Sieverodonetsk for the time being

For weeks, Ukrainians and Russians have been wearing each other out in the battle for Sievjerodonetsk. Both sides take turns reporting successes. But now Moscow seems to be winning the battle for the city in the east. Kyiv withdraws its remaining soldiers.

Ukraine has announced a troop withdrawal from the city of Sievjerodonetsk in the east of the country, which has been contested for weeks. The Ukrainian troops must be withdrawn, says the governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Hajday, on television. The city is largely occupied by Russian forces. “There is no point in staying in positions that have been shattered over many months just to stay there,” he adds. The Russian units had recently taken over the city almost completely.

Sievjerodonetsk and Lysychansk are the last major cities in the Luhansk region still under Ukrainian control. The conquest of Luhansk – like that of the Donetsk region – is one of Russia’s main goals in the war against the neighboring country that began four months ago. The Russian advances are likely a result of recent reinforcements and a heavy concentration of shelling, the Ministry of Defense tweeted in London. Despite strong pressure exerted by Russian troops on the Lysychansk-Syeverodonetsk pocket, efforts to achieve a deeper encirclement of the western Donetsk region remain deadlocked, it said.

The neighboring towns Sjewerodonetsk and Lyssychansk are separated by a river. Most of the bridges have been destroyed in the past few days. In addition, Lysychansk is significantly higher than Sievjerodonetsk.

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