Kyiv, Jun 8 (EFE) .- Fierce battles are underway in Severodonetsk, where Ukrainian troops are “fighting for every inch of the city,” the governor of Luhansk, where the city is located, said Wednesday on Telegram.
Serhiy Haidai also warned of heavy shelling on the Lysychansk-Bakhmut route and said Russia was planning to cross the Seversky Donets River to create a bridgehead for the offensive.
On Tuesday night, Haidai had said that the Ukrainian troops had repulsed Russians in some parts of Severodonetsk, a strategic city in eastern Ukraine that could allow Moscow to gain control of the entire eastern part of the country.
“The Ukrainian military repulses the Russians in Severodonetsk – restrains the assault, hostilities continue. The enemy’s offensive near Toshkivka was also unsuccessful. The enemy also tried to advance in the direction of Ustynivka, but our defenders repulsed the occupiers,” he said.
The situation in this part of the country is unclear as independent sources have not been able to verify it.
In recent days, the Ukrainian government has admitted that street fights are ongoing and that Russian troops have been advancing in the city.
Meanwhile, the Klemlin has said that Ukrainian troops have been severely decimated in Severodonetsk and are only holding the industrial areas of the city.
“Russians are being held back in Severodonetsk, (it is) dangerous in Lysychansk even in the central districts,” Haidai said.
In the last few days, the Russian military has focused its attacks on eastern Ukraine’s Donbas area, bordering Russia, after having gained control of part of southern Ukraine and having opened a corridor that allows it to move soldiers and equipment to that area.
According to several analysts, the fight for Severodonetsk is crucial for the Russians since it would allow them to gain control of the entire eastern part of Ukraine, where their troops are supported by pro-Russian militias.
On the other hand, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in the United States believes that the battle for control of Severodonetsk is a “Russian information operation.”
“One of its main purposes for Moscow is to create the impression that Russia has regained its strength and will now overwhelm Ukraine. That impression is false. The Russian military in Ukraine is increasingly a spent force that cannot achieve a decisive victory if Ukrainians hold on,” the institute said on Tuesday. EFE