Russian forces on Monday destroyed the last possible route to evacuate civilians from the Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk, which has been the scene of violent clashes in recent weeks.
District Governor Sergei Gaidai said that the last bridge around the city, in the Donbass region, was destroyed, trapping civilians in the area and making it impossible to deliver humanitarian aid. He said that 70% of the city would be under the control of the invading forces.
The RIA repeated a statement issued by a pro-Moscow separatist group, in which it said that Ukrainian soldiers would be isolated in Severodonetsk. He gave an ultimatum to surrender or die.
Ukraine asks for help from the West to confront Russia
Spokesperson for the International Defense Corps Ukrainewhich has fighters in Severodonetsk, said that the situation in the city resembled that of the siege of Mariupol, “with a large number of defenders of the Ukraine Banned from the rest of the Ukrainian forces.”
Before Mariupol fell to Russian forces last month, hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians were imprisoned for weeks in Azovstal’s steel mills, in precarious conditions, after the city was brutally besieged by Russian forces.
Sievierodonetsk’s conquest could pave the way for other strategically important cities such as Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.
“One of the most brutal events in the history of Europe”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday that the Battle of Donbass will go down in history as one of the most brutal in European history.
“For us, the cost of this battle is very high. It is just terrifying,” he said.
“We draw the attention of our partners daily to the fact that only with a sufficient number of modern artillery can we secure our advantage,” said the Ukrainian leader.
The country’s Prime Minister, Mikhailo Podolak, said Ukraine And it still needed a thousand howitzers, 500 tanks and a thousand drones, as well as other weapons of heavy artillery.
The Kremlin: The goal is to “protect” Donbass
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that the purpose of Russia Protection of the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk provinces in the Donbass region after rebel leaders asked Moscow to send additional troops.
After failing to capture the capital, Kyiv, a Russia It focused its efforts on the Donbass region, where separatists have already occupied much of the region since 2014.
More victims in a mass grave
Amnesty International accused Russia committing war crimes, alleging that Russian attacks on Kharkiv using cluster bombs killed hundreds of civilians.
In Bucha, a city that suffered merciless massacre during a month occupied by Russian forces, local teams discovered a new mass grave, where seven dead were buried.
According to local police, some had their hands and knees tied and had gunshot wounds.
Since Russian soldiers withdrew from Bucha at the end of March, authorities say they have found 1,316 bodies, many in mass graves.
National Police Chief Igor Klimenko said criminal investigations had been opened into the deaths of more than 12,000 Ukrainians.
He claimed that mass executions were carried out by snipers on tanks and armored vehicles. The policeman did not specify the number of casualties, which numbered 12,000 civilians or military personnel.
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