Russian Forces Surround Severodonetsk, Evacuation Corridors Closed

Russian officials have stated that their forces are fighting for the “full liberation” of Ukraine’s eastern provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk, where Russian-backed separatists held substantial territory before the invasion.

The city of Severodonetsk, now the conflict’s epicenter in eastern Ukraine, has been completely cut off after its final remaining bridge was demolished.

Ukrainian fighters in the city should now “surrender or perish,” according to a top military official from the breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic. 

Russia’s defense ministry has stated it is ready to let civilians sheltering in a city chemicals plant leave on Wednesday.

“Guided by humane principles, the Armed Forces of Russia and the formations of the Lugansk People’s Republic are ready to carry out a humanitarian operation to evacuate civilians. To do this, from 08:00 Moscow time to 20:00 Moscow time on June 15, a humanitarian corridor is opened in a northerly direction to the city of Svatovo of the Luhansk People’s Republic,” said the head of the National Defense Control Center of the Russian Federation Mikhail Mizintsev.

“The safe evacuation of all civilians without exception and their movement as part of humanitarian convoys to temporary accommodation centers is guaranteed,” Mizintsev added.

Russia, in a report by BBC, has advanced slowly but steadily in the east, already controlling over 90% of the Luhansk province.

Russian forces are attempting to completely take control of Severodonetsk. 

According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), they now control all of the city’s residential sections, and fighting was centered around the Azot industrial zone.

Taking the city is one of Russia’s main objectives because it would give them control of nearly the whole Luhansk region.

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