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Saturday, July 2, 2022

Russian Forces Seize Center Of Severodonetsk, Last Holdout City In Luhansk

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On Monday Ukraine’s military acknowledged for the first time that Russian forces have taken over the center of the key city of Severodonetsk, considered the last major place of resistance and holdout before pro-Moscow forces take the whole of Luhansk province.

“In the Severodonetsk direction, the enemy, with the support of artillery, carried out assault operations in the city of Severodonetsk, had partial success, pushed our units away from the city center, the fighting continues,” the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced in a written statement.

Russian forces have for weeks been slowly encircling Severodonetsk, which now looks inevitable. Ukraine’s governor for the region, Sergiy Gaiday, called the developing situation “extremely difficult” – particularly after the Russian army obliterated a second bridge into the city over the weekend. He further cited constant bombardment and shelling from Russian lines.

Commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian military Valeriy Zaluzhny has said Russia has a “tenfold advantage” when it comes to artillery fire and ammunition supply.

Meanwhile, another ‘Azovstal-style standoff’ could be ensuing in the embattled city of Severodonetsk.

 

Another Ukrainian official on Saturday warned that national forces are fast “running out of ammo” in a plea for immediate resupply from the West:

Speaking from near the frontlines, Mykolaiv Regional Governor Vitaliy Kim called for more support from U.S. and European allies, VOA News reported. He also indicated that, at least in his region of Ukraine, forces are running low on ammunition.

“Russia’s army is more powerful, they have a lot of artillery and ammo. For now, this is a war of artillery… and we are out of ammo,” Kim said. “The help of Europe and America is very, very important.”

Two weeks ago, just as the tide in the Donbas began to shift clearly in Russia’s favor, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told French television that for Moscow it remains an “absolute priority… to push the Ukrainian army and the Ukrainian battalions out” of Donetsk and Luhansk.

With the imminent fall of Severodonetsk this is looking increasingly likely, as many Western pundits are also belatedly acknowledging.

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