Street fighting, constant explosions as Russians press for control of Donbas in Ukraine

Street fighting, constant explosions as Russians press for control of Donbas in Ukraine – Mail Bonus


Ukrainian troops have been embroiled in heavy street fighting with Russian troops in the industrial city of Sievierodonetsk, while other towns have been under constant fire, with Kremlin pushing for control of Donbas province in the east of the country.

Sievierodonetsk has become the main target of Russia’s offensive in the Donbas, which consists of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, where the invasion continues in a war of austerity that has left cities devastated by artillery waves.

“Fierce street fighting continues in the city,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his evening video on Monday.

“They are more than us, they are stronger,” Zelenskiy told reporters at a news conference. But Ukraine’s forces have “every opportunity” to fight back, he added.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said Russia was also throwing troops and equipment into its offensive to capture Ukraine’s largest city in Luhansk.

Luhansk Gov. Serhiy Gaidai said earlier on Monday that the situation had worsened after Ukrainian defenders pushed Russia back over the weekend as they seemed close to victory.

In its nightly update, the Ukrainian military said two civilians had been killed in Russian shootings in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions on Monday and that Russian troops had fired on more than 20 civilians.

In addition to artillery fire, the enemy fired from planes and helicopters in the Donetsk region, Ukraine’s chief official said on Tuesday.

Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield reports. Russia denies firing on civilians during the conflict.

Russia says it is on a mission to “liberate” Donbas – partly in separatist hands in Moscow since 2014 – after Ukrainian troops pushed its forces back from the capital, Kyiv, and another Ukrainian city, Kharkiv, in the early stages of the war.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, calling its operation a “special military operation” to eliminate what it considers a threat to its security. Ukraine and its Western allies call this a baseless accusation of war to gain control that is likely to turn into wider European conflicts.


The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense said on Monday that Russian troops were also advancing on Sloviansk, 85 km (53 miles) west of Sievierodonetsk.

“The front line is under constant fire,” Donetsk Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko told Ukrainian television.

“The enemy is also firing near Lyman with the aim of destroying our defensive positions and attacking Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. There is also a shooting attack on Svyatohirsk with the same aim,” he added.


Kyrylenko said efforts were underway to evacuate people from several towns, some under attack day and night, including Sloviansk, which still has about 24,000 inhabitants.

“People are now understanding, even though it’s late, that it’s time to go,” he said.

The British Ministry of Defense said on Twitter on Tuesday that Russia’s broader plan was likely to continue to cut off the Sievierodonetsk area from both the north and the south.

Russia’s progress in the southern part of the Popasna axis in May has halted over the past week, but reports of heavy gunfire near Izium indicate that Russia is preparing to renew its efforts on the northern axis, the ministry said.

“Russia will almost certainly need to revolutionize at least one of these axes in order to translate tactical gains into operational success and progress towards its political goal of governing the entire Donetsk region,” he said.

Reuters could not immediately confirm the ministry’s report.

In consultation with the United States, Britain said it would provide Ukraine with multiple missile systems capable of firing at targets up to 80 km (50 miles) away, and provide the more accurate long-range firing power needed to reach Russian artillery batteries. .

Zelenskiy said that Kyiv was gradually getting a “special system against ships” and that this was the best way to end Russia’s barrier to Ukrainian Black Sea ports that would prevent grain exports.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said Moscow would respond to Western missiles with long-range weapons by pushing Ukrainian troops further back from Russia’s border.

President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday that Russia would launch new targets if the West provided a longer-range missile. On the same day, Russian missiles hit Kyiv for the first time in more than a month.

The United States, which reopened its embassy in Kyiv in May after a nearly three-month closure, said the embassy’s location in the Ukrainian capital remained unchanged.

Western nations have imposed sanctions on Russia for their unprecedented strikes and brutality over their invasion.

On Monday, Russia’s foreign ministry said it had imposed personal sanctions on 61 US officials, including finance and energy ministers and senior defense and media executives. The operation, he said, was in retaliation for “ever-increasing US sanctions.”


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