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Russians Have Lost Ground in Severodonetsk: Ukraine Governor

The Russians were in control of about 70 percent of the city but were forced back over the past two days.

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Edited By :Padmashree Pande

Russian forces have lost ground in Severodonetsk, a key city in eastern Ukraine that has witnessed ferocious fighting as Moscow strives to gain control of Donbas, a regional governor said on Sunday, 5 June.

"The Russians were in control of about 70 percent of the city, but have been forced back over the past two days," Lugansk regional governor Sergiy Gaiday wrote on Telegram, AFP reported.

"The city is divided in two. They are afraid to move freely around the city," he added.

Pro-Russian separatisits have partly controlled Lugansk since 2014. Severodonetsk is the administrative capital of the part controlled by Ukraine.

Gaiday said that Ukrainian forces had captured eight Russian prisoners.

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'We are currently doing everything necessary to re-establish total control': Gaiday

He suggested that Russian general Aleksandr Dvornikov "has set himself a target of taking full control of Severodonetsk by June 10, or controlling the Lysychansk-Bakhmut road" which would open the way to Kramatorsk, the capital of the Donetsk region.

"All of the forces, all of the reserves are concentrating on these two tasks," Gaiday said.

On Saturday, 4 June, Russia's army had claimed some Ukrainian military units were withdrawing from Severodonetsk but mayor Oleksandr Striuk said Ukrainian forces were fighting to retake the city, The Moscow Times reported.

"Our soldiers have managed to redeploy, build a line of defence," he said in an interview broadcast on Telegram on Saturday.

"We are currently doing everything necessary to re-establish total control [of the city]," he added.

Background

In recent weeks, Russia concentrated its forces in Severodonetsk, as the Kremlin appeared to center on its military capturing one of two eastern provinces it claims on behalf of separatist proxies.

Independent information from Severodonetsk has been difficult to obtain, since lines of communication have been cut. The city has witnessed brutal shelling for weeks from Russian forces, according to The Kyiv Independent.

(With inputs from AFP, The Moscow Times, New York Post and The Kyiv Independent)

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Topics:  Ukraine crisis   Ukraine   Putin 

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