Ukrainian troops are falling back from Sievierodonetsk.
On Friday, the four-month anniversary of Russia’s invasion, a regional official said that Ukrainian soldiers had started withdrawing from a city under siege in the country’s east to take up stronger positions.
Following unrelenting Russian shelling that left the majority of the industrial city to ruins and reduced its population from 100,000 to 10,000, Sievierodonetsk, the administrative hub of the Luhansk region, is set to be evacuated.
Before fleeing to the massive Azot chemical plant on the city’s outskirts, Ukrainian forces engaged the Russians in house-to-house combat before taking cover in its enormous subterranean tunnels, where some 500 people also sought safety.
To surround Ukrainian soldiers, Russian forces have gained advances around Sievierodonetsk and the nearby city of Lysychansk, on a steep bank across a river.
The Russian onslaught has focused on Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk to seize all of the Donbas and eliminate the Ukrainian military defending it.
It is the most competent and battle-tested part of the nation’s armed forces.
The two cities and surrounding territories are the last significant pockets of Ukrainian resistance left in the 95% Russian and local separatist-controlled Luhansk province.
The Donetsk area, the second province in the Donbass, is likewise largely under the authority of Russia and rebels.
While Ukraine pleaded with its Western partners for better and more armaments, Russia utilized its numerical advantages in soldiers and weapons to hammer Sievierodonetsk in what has evolved into an attrition battle.
The destruction of the city’s bridges hindered the Ukrainian military’s ability to restock, reinforce, and evacuate the injured and others.
In addition, a large portion of the city’s communications, water, and energy infrastructure have been damaged.
Eric is a professional news editor, writer, and blogger for the last 10 years. He is working with NewsGater as an off-beat news editor cum writer.