Ukrainian forces are now withdrawing from Sievierodonetsk and may be ordered to also withdraw from Lysychansk, the last remaining holdout for Ukraine in the Luhansk region of Donbass.
On June 24, the head of the Luhansk regional military administration which is under Kiev’s control claimed that Ukrainian forces will have to withdraw from Severodonetsk. The Ukrainian military has been ordered to withdraw from the city, reported SouthFront.
The territory of the Azot plant remains under the control of Ukrainian armed formations. Severodonetsk itself and the airport in its vicinity are under control of the allied forces of the Russian Federation and the LPR. At the moment, it is unclear whether the Ukrainian official was referring to residential areas of Severodonetsk, which are already under full control of Russian-led forces, or the industrial zone of the city, where Ukrainian militants are hiding.
“Unfortunately, we will have to withdraw our military [from Severodonetsk]. It makes no sense to stay in positions broken after many months [of hostilities], because the number of dead in unfortified territories may grow every day,” Hayday said in a televised address. “Our defenders, who are there, have already received a command to withdraw to new positions, and to fully conduct hostilities from there.”
Regional Governor Serhiy Gaidai has suggested that a Ukrainian retreat from Lysychansk, Sievierodonetsk’s sister city, may be necessary, reported the private intelligence firm Inkerman.
Lysychansk has faced day and night aerial bombardment in recent weeks and Russian forces have captured two strategic villages to its south. Further Russian success to the south of the city could soon leave Ukrainian forces in Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk encircled. A Ukrainian retreat would mean Russia had successfully occupied every city in Luhansk, bringing it closer to one of its war aims.
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