Battle of Donbas: Last bridge to Severodonetsk cut, civilians now trapped in city

The last bridge to the city was destroyed, trapping any remaining civilians and making it impossible to deliver humanitarian supplies, said regional governor Sergei Gaidai

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Tuesday, June 14, 2022, 02:52 PM IST
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The Azot plant in Severodonetsk is being heavily shelled by the Russians. About 500 civilians, including 40 children, are sheltering there | Twitter/@serhey_hayday

Russian forces eliminated the last routes for evacuating citizens from the eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk, a Ukrainian official said, as the Kremlin pushed for victory in the Donbas region.

The last bridge to the city was destroyed, trapping any remaining civilians and making it impossible to deliver humanitarian supplies, said regional governor Sergei Gaidai, adding that some 70% of the city was under Russian control.

The neighbouring city of Lysychansk is also being pounded by Russian artillery as civilians try to flee. Residents still in the city are surviving in "extremely difficult conditions", said Haidai.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) judged on 28 May that the Russian military was directing a large part of its combat-effective forces into the battle of Sievierodonetsk, weakening other front lines and risking exhausting its remaining troops.

On 10 June, the Ukrainian Deputy Head of Military Intelligence, Vadym Skibitsky, said that Ukraine was almost out of ammunition. He added that Ukraine had nearly exhausted its supplies of artillery ammunition, and was reliant on the West to supply them.

Further, he said that Europe's supply of ammunition was also limited, needing to be restocked. According to Skibitsky, Russia had an advantage of 10 to 15 times more artillery systems than Ukraine. He said that Ukrainian forces were using 5,000-6,000 rounds a day, specifically 155 mm West-supplied rounds. Skibitsky claimed that Western rocket systems were needed to destroy Russian artillery.

According to a Ukrainian Presidential Aide, Ukraine was losing 100-200 soldiers per day.

Meanwhile, Russia's military is likely to have made small advances in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine for the first time in several weeks, the UK's Ministry of Defence has said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called the human cost of the battle "terrifying." A senior Ukrainian official said that the country's grain harvest is likely to drop by almost half this year, following the invasion.

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