Sievierodonetsk mayor says Russian troops occupy half of city

LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian troops are “moving like crazy” and occupying half of the eastern Ukrainian city of Sivye Donetsk, the mayor told The Associated Press on Tuesday, as Moscow quickly completed its occupation of industrial Donba. key to the region. .

“The city was basically being ruthlessly destroyed block by block,” Oleksandr Striuk said. He said fierce street fighting continued and shelling threatened the lives of some 13,000 civilians who were still taking refuge in the devastated city that once housed more than 100,000 people.

Civilian casualties cannot be traced amid round-the-clock shelling, the mayor said, arguing that more than 1,500 residents have died of various causes since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February. Evacuation efforts from Sievierodonetsk have been halted due to shelling.

“With most residents hiding in basements and shelters, civilians have died from direct attacks, debris wounds and the rubble of destroyed buildings,” Strucker said.

Electricity has been cut off in the city and people need water, food and medicine, and the mayor said: “There are still days of food supplies, but the question is how to distribute it.”

Sievierodonetsk is important to Russia’s efforts to occupy the Donbass before more Western weapons arrive to strengthen Ukraine’s defenses. Moscow-backed separatists have held territory in the region and have been fighting Ukrainian forces for eight years.

Military analysts have described the fighting in West Ville Donetsk as part of the Kremlin’s race against time. City. It is located 145 kilometers (90 miles) south of the Russian border, in the last area controlled by the Ukrainian government in the Luhansk region.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a nightly video address that the situation in Donbass remained “extremely difficult” as Russia had placed the “maximum combat power” of its troops there.

Donetsk region governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said in a Facebook post on Tuesday morning that at least three people were killed and six more overnight in a Russian missile attack on the city of Sloviansk, west of Sievierodonetsk. people are injured. A school was one of several buildings damaged.

Shelling killed two people and wounded four others in neighbouring Luhansk, Luhansk Governor Sheryl Heyday said on Telegram on Tuesday. Haidai did not specify when or where the attack occurred.

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