Severodonetsk now under complete Russian control and is no longer contested

26 June, 02:11 PM
The Ukrainian military withdrew from Severodonetsk to more prepared positions, said the head of the VCA Oleksandr Stryuk (Photo:REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak)

The Ukrainian military withdrew from Severodonetsk to more prepared positions, said the head of the VCA Oleksandr Stryuk (Photo:REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak)

The city of Severodonetsk in Luhansk Oblast is now completely under Russian control, following the withdrawal of Ukrainian units from the city, the head of the Severodonetsk military administration, Oleksandr Stryuk, said on Ukrainian TV on June 25.

According to Stryuk, the only evacuation route available to city residents goes through Russia-occupied territory, as it is currently impossible to establish safe passage for civilians towards Ukraine-held areas.

“The city is fully occupied by Russia,” said Stryk.

“(They) are trying to establish their rule there. As far as I know, some ‘commandant’ was appointed, to consolidate ‘assets.’”

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He added that civilians, who were sheltering at the Azot chemical plant, are now leaving the premises. Russian media is preying on their vulnerable psychological state, filming their propaganda videos.

Stryuk suggested that the invaders could eventually start coercing city residents into receiving Russian passports. It’s currently impossible to deliver any kind of humanitarian aid to Severodonetsk.

On June 24, reports emerged of Ukrainian troops withdrawing from Severodonetsk’s industrial zone. Ukrainian journalist Yuri Butusov described the decision as “a bitter, but long overdue one.”

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

The sustained Russian offensive on Severodonetsk began in late April, leaving 90% of the city destroyed, according to regional authorities.

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