Ukrainian forces have been ordered to withdraw from the eastern city of Severodonetsk, the scene of bitter fighting with the Russian army, the regional governor announced on Friday.
The conquest of Severodonetsk is a crucial step in the Russian plan to conquer the industrial basin of Donbass, already partly held by pro-Russian separatists since 2014.
“The Ukrainian armed forces will have to withdraw from Severodonetsk. They received the order”, declared on Telegram Serguiï Gaïdaï, the governor of Lugansk, where this strategic locality is located.
“It no longer makes sense to stay in positions that have been constantly bombarded for months,” he added.
The city was “almost reduced to ruins” by the continuous bombardments, he said.
“All critical infrastructure has been destroyed. 90% of the city is damaged, 80% of the houses will have to be destroyed,” he said.