Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine


Smoke rises from Severodonetsk, Ukraine, on May 30. (Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images)

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry says fighting continues in the city of Severodonetsk, where Russian forces and their allies are edging forwards. 

“The enemy reached central Severodonetsk and is trying to establish positions. The situation is very difficult,” Defense Ministry spokesperson Oleksandr Motuzyanyk said at a briefing Wednesday.

“I don’t want to estimate or give any percentage ratios of what we control and don’t control,” Motuzyanyk added. “We know the enemy’s goals and we are doing everything to stop them from achieving them.”

One officer involved in the defense of Severodonetsk has spoken more optimistically about the situation.

“We maneuver, we try to destroy the occupier as much as possible. The night went more or less well. Our units took prisoners,” Petro Kuzyk, commander of the Svoboda battalion and a captain of the National Guard, told Radio Liberty.

Kuzyk said that his unit did not plan to retreat from Severodonetsk, but was trying to push the Russian military as far as possible outside the city.

Russian forces “minimized contact with us. They have an advantage in artillery, in tanks in this direction, so they use it,” he added.

The Russian army used infantry only to determine the positions of the Ukrainian military are. “Then the work of artillery is turned on for hours, tanks and aircraft are used,” he said. “They are fighting like a Russian war machine – they are trying to grind our positions, as they fought in Syria, Rubizhne [a town near Severodonetsk.]

“They completely destroyed the city of Rubizhne. They are trying to do the same with Severodonetsk, but our counter-artillery is already working here, although at a much slower pace than I would like,” he continued.

Elsewhere on the front lines, the defense ministry said Russian attacks around Lyman — supported by assault helicopters — had been beaten back. And Ukrainian units had also resisted efforts by the Russians to dislodge them from Bilhorivka, Motuzyanyk said.

However, he acknowledged that along frontlines south of the town of Bakhmut, “as a result of assaults near Vozdvizhenka, the enemy had partial success, which allowed him to capture the southwestern part of this settlement.”

Russian forces have made incremental gains in the last week in rural parts of Donetsk bordering Luhansk and are trying to encircle Ukrainian forces that have been defending the region’s border in three directions — north, east and south.

Quoted from Various Sources

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