Critically damaged apartment blocks in Russia-occupied Severodonetsk are crumbling, as seen in video footage posted on the Telegram messenger by Luhansk Oblast Governor Serhiy Hayday on Aug. 2.
“It’s extremely dangerous to remain in the buildings damaged by Russian troops,” said Hayday.
“Some remaining locals still dwell in intact apartments, cellars, and hallways. But it’s very dangerous there. A damaged apartment block could crumble and collapse without warning.”
The official posted a video of one such residential building in the city collapsing.
“People were walking past; it’s unclear if anyone was inside,” the governor added.
“While Moscow films propaganda reports of ‘happy days’ in Luhansk Oblast, its residents are dying beneath the rubble of their homes.”
Unable to break through Ukrainian lines at the Donetsk-Luhansk oblasts boundary, Russia is putting greater emphasis on leveraging its air power in the region.
According to Hayday, the thrust of Moscow’s advance in Donbas is currently towards Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast. Russian air force sorties targeted around eight Ukrainian settlements in the area over the last 24 hours.
“Russia seeks to tie Ukrainian Armed Forces down in the area, preventing their redeployment to other parts of the battlefield,” Hayday concluded.
Ukrainian forces withdrew from Severodonetsk and Lysychansk – the last two major cities on Luhansk Oblast to fall into Russian hands – by July 3. Around 20,000 residents remain across the two cities.
Moscow is still short of full control over Luhansk Oblast.
After four months of fighting, Russia managed to advance a mere 30 kilometers in the oblast.