Pro-Russia Separatists Claims Hits On Ukrainian Positions In Sieverodonetsk Outskirts
Luhansk People’s Republic troops hit Ukrainian positions on the outskirts of the town of Sieverodonetsk in eastern Ukraine, as can be seen from these images.
The footage was obtained from the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) on Thursday, June 23, with an unnamed spokesperson saying: “Servicemen of the [People’s Militia] of the LPR discovered the next positions of the AFU soldiers on the outskirts of the city of Sieverodonetsk.
“Positions, dugouts, trenches. The decision was made to attack the enemy immediately.
“With well-coordinated work and good preparation, [the People’s Militia] did an excellent job with the task, remaining undetected.”
The footage has emerged as the Ukrainian regional Governor of the Luhansk Oblast region, Sergey Haidai, said that Ukrainian troops defending Sievierodonetsk will most likely be withdrawn. He said: “Remaining in positions smashed to pieces over many months just for the sake of staying there does not make sense.”
But he added that Ukrainian troops have fended off a Russian attack on the outskirts of the city of Lysychansk, to the south.
We contacted Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) representatives for further comment, as well as the Russian and the Ukrainian Defense Ministries, but haven’t received a reply at the time of writing.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin is still calling a “special military operation.” June 24 marks the 121st day of the invasion.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between February 24 and June 24, Russia had lost about 34,530 personnel, 1,507 tanks, 3,637 armored combat vehicles, 759 artillery units, 241 multiple launch rocket systems, 99 air defense systems, 216 warplanes, 183 helicopters, 622 drones, 137 cruise missiles, 14 warships, 2,553 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 60 units of special equipment.
On Thursday, June 23, the European Union approved Ukraine’s application to become a candidate for admission to the bloc, which is currently made up of 27 countries. The decision has been hailed in both Brussels and Kyiv as a “historic moment,” with President Zelenskyy saying that “Ukraine’s future is in the EU.”
The head of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, warned Russia may stop supplying natural gas to Europe this winter. Several European countries have already received less Russian gas than expected in the last few weeks, with European imports of natural gas from Russia dropping from approximately 40 percent to 20 percent.
Germany has taken a step closer to gas rationing after a drop in supplies from Russia.
British intelligence has estimated that the pro-Russian, so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has lost 55 percent of its original forces.
U.S. intelligence has revealed that Russia is mining the Black Sea ports of Odesa and Ochakiv to throttle Ukraine’s ability to export grain.
Russia is now thought to control all of the eastern Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk, apart from the Azot chemical plant.
Russian Foreign Ministry press secretary Maria Zakharova has said that Moscow’s response to Lithuania banning the transit of goods, sanctioned by the EU, to Kaliningrad will not only be diplomatic but also practical.
But Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte has accused Russia of lying over the blockade, saying that people are still able to travel between Russia and Kaliningrad and that the blockade only affects 1 percent of goods.
Russia conducted an anti-ship missile exercise in the Baltic Sea amid escalating tensions with NATO member Lithuania after the country blocked the transit of some goods to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.
Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories, has urged locals in the Kherson region to evacuate, to help Ukrainian forces “de-occupy” the area.
Ukrainian officials have said that there are currently no safe towns for civilians in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, as fighting in the area intensifies.