Home World Ukraine: Fierce fighting in Lisitsansk – Russia ‘attacks with all its forces’

Ukraine: Fierce fighting in Lisitsansk – Russia ‘attacks with all its forces’

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Ukraine: Fierce fighting in Lisitsansk – Russia ‘attacks with all its forces’

LAST UPDATE: 18:49

Fierce fighting is raging today in eastern Ukraine’s Lisitsansk, a city at the center of the war for control of Donbas, with pro-Russian separatists claiming they have completely surrounded it, a claim the Ukrainian military denies.

“The fighting is raging around Lisitsansk. Fortunately, the city is not surrounded and is under the control of the Ukrainian army,” Ruslan Muzychuk, the spokesman for the Ukrainian National Guard, told television.

Earlier, Moscow-backed separatists claimed to have surrounded the city.

“Today, the Luhansk People’s Militia (a.k.a. the separatist army) and the Russian armed forces captured the last strategic heights, which allows us to declare that the Lisitsansk community is completely surrounded,” said Andrei Marochko, a representative of this force, according to the Russian news agency Tass.

Lugansk Governor Serhii Gaidai said Moscow’s troops are making an all-out effort to take control of the city, Bloomberg reports.

“During the last day, the invaders opened fire with all kinds of weapons available,” Haidai said on Telegram. Ukrainian forces withdrew a week ago from the neighboring city of Severodonetsk, which is located on the other side of the Donetsk River.

Lisitsansk is the last major city of Luhansk that has not fallen to the Russians. It is across the street from Severodonetsk, which was seized by the Russians last week after Ukrainian forces withdrew and before the war had a population of 100,000. The two cities are separated from each other by the Donets River, the largest tributary of the Don.

The capture of Lisitsansk would allow the Russian army to advance towards Sloviansk (60 kilometers to the west) and Kramatorsk, two other large cities in the Donbass basin that are administratively part of Donetsk Oblast.

In the morning, the general staff of the Ukrainian army reported that it had repelled an attack by Russians in a community a few kilometers west of Lisitsansk.

On Friday night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky admitted that the situation remains “extremely difficult” for Ukrainian forces.

Heavy losses

In Sloviansk, which has been bombarded nightly for a week, at least four civilians have been killed and 12 others wounded since Friday morning, according to Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kirilenko. Rockets hit residential houses in the evening, causing the death of a woman who was in her garden. Her husband was injured, a neighbor told AFP, pointing to the damage caused by the blows to houses in the neighborhood.

The city’s mayor, Vadim Liach, accuses Russian forces of using cluster bombs, which are banned by international treaties to which Russia is not a party.

Further north, in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, “in the morning (…) there was nervousness” as rockets hit a district, according to Governor Oleh Sinegubov. No casualties were reported.

Igor Konashenkov, the spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, said that the Russian air force had hit a tractor factory in Kharkiv, where soldiers and equipment of the 10th Mountain Brigade of Ukraine were located. In the south, the Russian army hit with artillery or aerial bombardment 39 “command centers” and two weapons depots near Mykolaiv. The local Ukrainian governor, Vitaly Kim, said explosions were heard in the morning and authorities were trying to assess the damage.

Speaking generally, Konashenkov claimed that “the enemy is suffering heavy losses on all fronts.”

Source: Capital

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