- Fierce avenue fighting for key japanese industrial metropolis
- Ukraine troops outnumbered, won’t surrender-Zelenskiy
- Eastern entrance below fixed shelling
- Efforts to evacuate hundreds
KYIV/DRUZHKIVKA, Ukraine, June 7 (Reuters) – Ukrainian troops battled Russians street-to-street within the ruins of Sievierodonetsk on Tuesday, attempting to hold onto gains from a shock counter-offensive that had reversed momentum in one of many bloodiest land battles of the struggle.
The battle for the small industrial metropolis has emerged as a pivotal battle in japanese Ukraine, with Russia focusing its offensive may there within the hope of attaining one among its acknowledged struggle goals – to totally seize surrounding Luhansk province on behalf of separatist proxies.
After withdrawing from practically all town within the face of the Russian advance, Ukrainian forces staged a shock counter-attack final week, driving the Russians from a swath of town centre. Since then, the 2 armies have confronted off throughout boulevards, each claiming to have inflicted large casualties.
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“Our heroes are not giving up positions in Sievierodonetsk,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy stated in an in a single day video handle, describing fierce avenue fighting within the metropolis. Earlier, he instructed reporters at a briefing the Ukrainians had been outnumbered however nonetheless had “every chance” of fighting again.
Before Ukraine’s counter-offensive, Russia had appeared on the verge of encircling Ukraine’s garrison in Luhansk province, reducing off the primary street to Sievierodonetsk and its twin metropolis Lysychansk throughout the Siverskiy Donets river.
But following the counter-offensive, Zelenskiy made a shock go to to Lysychansk on Sunday, personally demonstrating that Kyiv nonetheless had an open route to its troops’ redoubt.
Ukraine’s defence ministry stated Russia was throwing troops and gear into its drive to seize Sievierodonetsk. Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai stated on Monday the state of affairs had worsened for the reason that Ukrainian defenders had pushed again the Russians over the weekend.
Luhansk and neighbouring Donetsk province, collectively recognized as the Donbas, have turn out to be Russia’s major focus since its forces had been defeated on the outskirts of Kyiv in March and pushed again from the second greatest metropolis Kharkiv final month.
Russia has been urgent from three major instructions – east, north and south – to attempt to encircle the Ukrainians within the Donbas. Russia has made progress, however solely slowly, failing to deal a decisive blow or to encircle the Ukrainians.
In its nightly replace, the Ukrainian army stated two civilians had been killed in Russian shelling within the Donbas and Russian forces had fired at greater than 20 communities, utilizing artillery and air strikes.
In Druzhkivka, within the Ukrainian-held pocket of Donetsk province, residents had been selecting by the wreckage of homes obliterated by the newest shelling.
“Please help, we need materials for the roof, for the house, there are people without shelter,” shouted Nelya, outdoors her house the place the roof had been shredded. “My niece, she has two small children, she had to cover one of her children with her own body.”
Nearby, Nadezhda picked up a youngsters’s pink photograph album and kindergarten train e book from the ruins of her home, and put them on a shelf someway nonetheless standing within the rubble.
“I do not even know where to start. I am standing here looking but I have no idea what to do. I start crying, I calm down, then I cry again.”
Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, in what it calls a “special military operation” to stamp out what it sees as threats to its safety. Ukraine and its Western allies name this a baseless pretext for a struggle to seize territory.
Britain’s defence ministry stated on Tuesday that Russia was nonetheless attempting to reduce off Sievierodonetsk by advancing from the north close to Izium and from the south close to Popasna. It stated Russia’s progress from Popasna had stalled during the last week, whereas stories of heavy shelling close to Izium steered Moscow was getting ready a brand new offensive there.
“Russia will almost certainly need to achieve a breakthrough on at least one of these axes to translate tactical gains to operational level success and progress towards its political objective of controlling all of Donetsk Oblast,” it stated.
The Donetsk regional governor, Pavlo Kyrylenko, instructed Ukrainian tv there was fixed shelling alongside the entrance line, with Russia trying to push in direction of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, the 2 greatest Ukrainian-held cities in Donetsk.
Kyrylenko stated efforts had been underway to evacuate individuals from a number of cities, some below assault day and evening, together with Sloviansk the place about 24,000 residents, round 1 / 4 of the inhabitants, nonetheless stays.
“People are now understanding, though it is late, that it is time to leave,” he stated.
Ukraine is among the world’s greatest exporters of grain, and Western nations accuse Russia of making threat of world famine by shutting Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.
Zelenskiy stated Kyiv was regularly receiving “specific anti-ship systems”, and that these can be the easiest way to break a Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports.
Moscow denies blame for the meals disaster, which it says was attributable to Western sanctions.
Russia’s U.N. envoy, Vassily Nebenzia, stormed out of a U.N. Security Council assembly on Monday as European Council President Charles Michel, addressing the 15-member physique, accused Moscow of fueling the worldwide meals disaster with its invasion of Ukraine. learn extra
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated Moscow would reply to Western deliveries of long-range weapons by pushing Ukrainian forces additional again from Russia’s border.
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Reporting by Reuters; Writing by Peter Graff
Editing by Gareth Jones
Editing by Gareth Jones
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Street fighting rages as Kyiv seeks to hold Sievierodonetsk gains & More Latest News Update
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