Pentagon official praises Ukrainian army's performance in battle for Severodonetsk

28 June, 01:50 PM
The Pentagon praised the actions of the Armed Forces in Severodonetsk (Photo:REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak)

The Pentagon praised the actions of the Armed Forces in Severodonetsk (Photo:REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak)

A senior U.S. Defense Department official on June 27 praised the actions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine during their defense of the town of Severodonetsk in the Donbas.

"From a military perspective, what I would say is (that) the small number of Ukrainians that held the Russians at Severodonetsk for as long as they did is really something I think we'll probably all study in the future," the official said.

"And when (Ukrainian forces) chose to leave Severodonetsk, they chose to do (it) of their own accord and to give that up in order to move to better prepared locations for the continuing of that defense."

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For the little ground the Russians have managed to gain, they're losing a large number of their forces, the official said.

"Several hundred Ukrainians continue to hold off the Russian army in that part of the world in a pretty significant fight. It speaks to the tenacity of the Ukrainian soldier(s) and their leadership," the official said.

Reports emerged on June 24 of Ukrainian troops withdrawing from Severodonetsk's industrial zone. Ukrainian journalist Yuri Butusov described the decision as "a bitter, but long overdue one."

Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar on June 25 claimed that the spread of news of the retreat on social media had interfered with the orderly withdrawal from the city.

The head of the Severodonetsk military administration, Oleksandr Stryuk, said that the Ukrainian defenders had retreated to better prepared positions.

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