Russia’s invasion forces have significantly intensified shelling of Luhansk Oblast and are smashing the city of Severodonetsk into rubble with artillery, bombs and rockets, the region’s governor said on the Freedom television station on May 24.
Serhiy Hayday said the enemy was trying to conduct a full-scale offensive from all directions.
He said the situation was deteriorating in the oblast with every passing day, and the shelling is increasing. The Russians are bombing Severodonetsk with aircraft, shelling with multiple rocket launcher systems, artillery, and mortars, and trying to attack from different directions to break through the city's defensive lines.
In Donetsk Oblast, the situation has also become much more serious, with the Lysychansk-Bakhmut highway now being completely exposed to Russian fire. Enemy reconnaissance and sabotage units are appearing in the area, and it is extremely dangerous to drive along the highway.
According to Hayday, Russia has deployed about 20 BTGs and a huge amount of equipment, including tanks, armored vehicles, and helicopters, on the Luhansk axis alone.
“Today it is exactly three months that we have been holding the line of defense and Russia has been unable to capture the Luhansk Oblast... Our guys are very motivated, they are well aware that this ordeal is one of the most difficult in this entire war. Because now we, like Mariupol, are an outpost that is holding back a huge amount of forces and equipment, so that they can’t go any further.”
Hayday also said that Russian invaders deliberately destroyed critical infrastructure in the region, including hospitals. Now there is no gas, water, and electricity in any of its settlements, although the authorities are endeavoring to deliver humanitarian aid on a daily basis.
On May 15, Hayday said that 10% of the Luhansk Oblast remained under Ukraine’s control. President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the Russian occupiers in Donbas have 20 times more equipment than the defenders of Ukraine.
On May 24, in the area of responsibility of the Joint Forces grouping, the Ukrainian army repulsed nine attacks by invaders and destroyed three tanks, eight artillery systems, 18 armored vehicles, two vehicles, six Orlan-10 drones, and one ZALA UAV, Ukraine’s General Staff reported.