Live Updates: Russia’s War in Ukraine

Smoke rises in the city of Severodonetsk during heavy fighting between Ukrainian and Russian troops on Monday May 30. (Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images)

Part of the city of Severodonetsk in eastern Ukraine is “already controlled by the Russian military” and Russian troops are “gradually moving towards downtown Severodonetsk”, Serhiy Hayday said on Tuesday, head of the Luhansk regional military administration.

But Hayday denied Russian reports that they captured the whole town.

“The situation is extremely complicated,” Hayday said.
“Unfortunately, part of the city of Severodonetsk is already controlled by the Russian army. They [the Russians] reported a few days ago that they had already captured the whole city. It’s not, there are our guys in town. The Russians cannot move freely.

Hayday said he did not believe there was a risk of troops encircling Severodonetsk although fighting continued in the city.

“The Russians don’t control the Lysychansk-Bakhmut road, but they are bombing it,” Hayday added.

Trapped Civilians and Interrupted Supplies: About 15,000 civilians remain in the city of Severodonetsk, Hayday said, and the evacuation is now “on hold due to the danger”. They can only deliver humanitarian goods to Lysychansk and Hirske to the south.

“Thousands of people who remain in the city are afraid of taking revenge or slaughtering for no reason,” Hayday said, adding that video clips of residents welcoming Russian troops were “staged scenes.”

The military official said the Russians were “planning a military operation to clear the area around Severodonetsk” with a battalion “being launched to go to the surrounding villages” armed with heavy flamethrowers to “burn our military with the civilian population”.

“They don’t care,” he said.

In the nearby town of Lysychansk: Two people have been killed and three injured, Hayday said, but “we don’t know how many civilians have been killed” in Severodonetsk since Russian troops began entering the city two days ago.

The rest of the Luhansk region, controlled by the Ukrainian government, is completely bombed,” Hayday said.

In the past 24 hours, “eight enemy attacks were repelled on the region’s frontline” and air defense units shot down an X-59MK cruise missile, Hayday said.

In Sloviansk: About 85 kilometers (52 miles) west of Severodonetsk, three people were killed and six injured after a Russian airstrike hit a school and several multi-storey buildings overnight, said Vadym Liakh, chief of the military administration of the city of Sloviansk, in a separate update. . He urged everyone to evacuate.

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