The Ukrainian city of KYIV After seizing complete control of Sievierodonetsk’s burned-out remains and the chemical facility where hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians had taken refuge on Saturday, Russian forces were pushing to engulf the last remaining Ukrainian stronghold in the eastern Luhansk area.
In addition, Russia fired hundreds of missiles against locations all around the nation that were far from the front lines of the fighting in the east. According to Ukraine’s air command, some of the missiles were fired for the first time from Russian long-range Tu-22 aircraft that were deployed from Belarus. The attack came before a meeting between Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin, during which Putin declared that Belarus would get the Iskander-M missile system from Russia.
The settlements surrounding Sievierodonetsk are now under the hands of Russian and Moscow-backed separatist fighters, according to Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov late on Saturday. He claimed that the Ukrainian military’s attempt to transform the Azot plant into a “stubborn center of resistance” had failed.
After weeks of bombardment and house-to-house battle, Ukrainian troops are retreating from Sievierodonetsk, according to Serhiy Haidai, the governor of the Luhansk province. He declared on Saturday that separatist and Russian militants had taken control of the city and were now attempting to barricade Lysychansk from the south. Just to the west of Sievierodonetsk, on the other side of the river, is the city.
Every large town in the province would come under Russian control if Lysychansk were taken, which would be a huge step toward Russia’s goal of taking the whole Donbas. Donetsk, the second province in the Donbas, is largely under the control of Russia and the rebels.
According to Andrei Marochko, a spokesman for the separatist forces, fighting between Russian and separatist forces has broken out in the center of Lysychansk. This information was provided by the Russian news agency Interfax. The Ukrainian side made no immediate response to the claim.
The focus of a Russian operation aiming at seizing the entirety of the Donbas and obliterating the Ukrainian military defending it, the most capable and battle-tested branch of the nation’s armed forces, has been Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk.
Russian bombing decreased Sievierodonetsk’s population from 100,000 to 10,000 and left the majority of the city in ruins. Along with hundreds of civilians, the last Ukrainian soldiers were holed up in subterranean shelters in the massive Azot chemical facility. Ivan Filiponenko, a representative for the separatists, claimed earlier on Saturday that their forces had ejected 800 residents from the factory throughout the night, according to Interfax. Some of the forces, according to Ukrainian military analyst Oleg Zhdanov, were in route to Lysychansk. However, the Russian maneuvers to cut off Lysychansk will provide no relief for the withdrawing forces.
According to Maksym Kozytskyy, the regional governor of Lviv, four Russian cruise missiles fired from the Black Sea hit a “military object” in Yaroviv, some 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) to the west. He did not provide any other information about the target, although Yaroviv is home to a significant military facility that trains militants, including those from abroad who volunteer to fight for Ukraine.
In March, 35 people were killed when Russian missiles hit the Yaroviv base. Despite being far from the battle lines, the Lviv region has experienced attacks throughout the conflict as Russia’s forces tried to target petroleum storage facilities. According to regional governor Vitaliy Buchenko, some 30 Russian missiles were fired on the Zhytomyr region in central Ukraine early on Saturday. One Ukrainian soldier was killed. All of the attacks, according to him, were directed at military targets.
According to Vitaliy Koval, the governor of the Rivne district, two missiles fired from the northwest struck an auto repair shop and service station in Sarny, killing three persons and injuring four others. He shared a photo of the damage. Sarny is situated around 30 miles (50 km) south of the Belarusian border. Nine missiles launched from Crimea were reported to have struck the port city of Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine near the Black Sea coast. According to the Ukrainian military, Belarus fired roughly 20 missiles toward the Chernihiv region in the north.
The use of Belarusian airspace by Russian planes for the first time during the attack on Saturday, according to Ukraine’s military intelligence service, was “directly tied to attempts by the Kremlin to drag Belarus into the war.” When Russia attacked Ukraine, it used Belarus as a staging area and hosts Russian military formations, but its own troops have not crossed the border In his nightly video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed that Russia “was obligated to organize such a missile display” as the conflict, which Moscow had anticipated lasting five days, entered its fifth month.
“We know that the enemy will not succeed. We understand that we can defend our country, but we don’t know how long it will take, how many more attacks, losses, and efforts there will be before we can see that victory is already on our horizon,” he said, describing the war as being in a difficult stage.
Putin informed Lukashenko that the Iskander-M missile systems will be arriving in the upcoming months during their meeting in St. Petersburg. He pointed out that they can launch ballistic or cruise missiles and have both conventional and nuclear warheads. Throughout the conflict, Russia has fired a number of Iskander missiles into Ukraine.
Following a failed attempt to seize Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, in the early stages of the invasion that began on February 24, Russian forces have turned their attention to the Donbas, where Ukrainian forces have been engaged in combat with rebels backed by Moscow since 2014.
Under the guise of anonymity, a senior U.S. defense official described the Ukrainian withdrawal from Sievierodonetsk as a “tactical retrograde” to concentrate their forces in areas where they could better defend themselves. According to the official, the action will support Ukraine’s efforts to keep Russian soldiers confined to a narrow area.
Four medium-range American rocket launchers have already arrived, and another four are on the way, following repeated appeals from Ukraine to its Western partners for stronger weapons to offset Russia’s superior firepower. The High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, were used for the first time in Ukraine, as seen in a video provided by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry on Saturday. The targets’ location or indication were not shown in the video. The rockets have a 45-mile range (70 kilometers).
According to the senior U.S. defence official, more Ukrainian personnel are training to use the HIMARS outside of Ukraine and are anticipated to return with the weapons by mid-July. 18 American river and coastal patrol vessels will also be supplied. According to the official, there is no proof that Russia has stopped the regular supply of weaponry from the United States and other countries into Ukraine. Russia has regularly threatened to attack such shipments or has already claimed to have done so.