Key city in Donbas is largely under Russian control, says Ukraine

Russian forces largely control the key eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk, said the region’s governor on Wednesday. Severodonetsk is a key city in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region. Russia has concentrated its firepower on the Donbas region after being repelled from other regions of Ukraine.

Moscow’s forces “control a large part of Severodonetsk. The industrial zone is still ours, there are no Russians there”, Sergiy Gaiday, governor of the Lugansk region which includes the city, said on Telegram.

“The fighting is only going on in the streets inside the city,” he added.

Earlier in the day, Gaiday said that Russia was shelling Severodonetsk “24 hours a day” and that Ukraine’s forces might have to pull back. Russia has already claimed on Tuesday that it had full control of residential areas.

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Donbas region includes Donetsk and Luhansk and the cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, which are separated by a river, were the last areas still under Ukrainian control.

Gaiday said that though Lysychansk remained fully under Ukrainian control it is under “powerful and chaotic” shelling. He accused Russian forces of purposely targetting hospitals and humanitarian aid distribution centres.

“The destruction is enormous,” he added.

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The United Nation’s secretary-general said Wednesday that 1.6 billion people were likely to be affected as the consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine worsened.

“The war’s impact on food security, energy and finance is systemic, severe, and speeding up,” Guterres said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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