Ukraine Invasion: Russia Relentlessly Attacks Severodonetsk in Donbas Region

Water, gas, and electricity are in limited supply in the town due to intense and persistent Russian shelling.

2 min read
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Severodonetsk, or Sievierodonetsk, is a mining and industrial town in the Luhansk Oblast of Ukraine. And it is relentlessly being pounded by Russia.

"Half of the city has been captured by the Russians and fierce street fighting is underway. The situation is very serious and the city is essentially being destroyed ruthlessly block by block," said the city's mayor, Oleksandr Striuk, as reported by The Guardian on Tuesday, 31 May.

Even the British Defense Ministry, in an intel update on Wednesday, said that "over half of the town is likely now occupied by Russian forces, including Chechen fighters."

Russian troops destroyed a bridge into the town over the weekend, making it tougher for people to get evacuated and for supplies to be brought in.

"If they destroy one more bridge, then the city will be fully cut off, unfortunately," Luhansk's regional governor, Serhiy Haidai, was quoted as saying by The Washington Post.

Water, gas, and electricity are in limited supply due to intense and persistent Russian shelling.


Why Go After Severodonetsk?

There are two main reasons why Russia is going after the town. The first one is that controlling Severodonetsk is important to control the Donbas region, especially the Luhansk region.

The town is located to the northeast of the left bank of a river called Siverskyi Donets and is just over 100 kilometres from the northwest of the capital administrator of Luhansk Oblast. Russia's recent moves indicate that it wants to encircle Severodonetsk.

Analysts say that if Russia captures the two big cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, then it would not take them too long to have control over all of Luhansk.

Governor of Luhansk Oblast, Serhiy Haidai, said that "the situation here is difficult because the Russian army has now thrown all [its] forces at capturing the Luhansk region," as reported by The Washington Post.

The other reason why Severodonetsk is being targeted by Russia concerns reputation.

The Russian military failed spectacularly in its attempts to control Kyiv, and it was even pushed back by Ukrainian troops in Kharkiv.

Putin desperately needs "a win," said Matthew Schmidt, associate professor of national security and political science at the University of New Haven, as reported by The Washington Post.

(With inputs from Reuters, The Guardian, and The Washington Post.)

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