Volodymyr Zelensky explains that the battle of Severodonetsk is “one of the most difficult”
Ukrainian soldiers have been fighting one of the “toughest battles” in Severodonetsk since the start of the war to resist Russian forces, which now control much of the strategic eastern city where President Volodymyr Zelensky says. plays the “fate” of the Donbass region.
“We are defending our positions, inflicting heavy losses on the enemy. This is a very hard, very difficult battle, probably one of the most difficult in this war,” the Ukrainian president said in a video released Wednesday night. For Russia, seizing the city would be crucial for a conquest of the entire Donbass coal basin, which has already been held in part by pro-Russian separatists since 2014.
“In many ways, the fate of our Donbass is decided there,” Zelensky said. A few hours earlier, Sergei Gaidai, the governor of the Lugansk region, had claimed that Moscow’s forces were “controlling much of Severodonetsk.” “The industrial area is still ours, there are no Russians there. The fighting only takes place on the streets inside the city,” he said.
The neighboring town of Lyssytchansk is fully controlled by the Ukrainian military but is under “powerful and chaotic” bombing, Gaidai said, accusing Russian forces of “deliberately” targeting hospitals and humanitarian aid centers. . “They shoot with a large caliber, the destruction is huge,” he added.