Russia Advances In Battle for Key Eastern Ukraine City.
- Russia has said its forces seized a village near Ukraine’s industrial city of Severodonetsk.
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EKO HOT BLOG reports that Moscow claims its forces have taken control of a village near the industrial city of Severodonetsk in eastern Ukraine.
Russia has said its forces seized a village near Ukraine’s industrial city of Severodonetsk, a prime target in Moscow’s campaign to control the country’s east.
The defence ministry said on Sunday it had won Metyolkine, a settlement of fewer than 800 people before the war began.
Russian state news agency TASS reported that many Ukrainian fighters had surrendered there.
Ukraine’s military said Russia had “partial success” in the area, which is about 6km (4 miles) southeast of Severodonetsk.
After failing to take the capital Kyiv early in the war, Russian forces have focused on trying to take complete control of Luhansk and Donetsk provinces, which together comprise the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine. Some parts of the Donbas were already held by Russian-backed separatists before the February 24 invasion.
Moscow said on Sunday its offensive to win Severdonetsk itself was proceeding successfully.
Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai told Ukrainian TV that fighting made evacuations from the city impossible, but that “all Russian claims that they control the town are a lie. They control the main part of the town, but not the whole town”.
Among the communities around Severodonestk, Haidai told Ukraine TV that a Russian attack on Toshkivka, 35km (22 miles) south, “had a degree of success”.
The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence on Sunday claimed that both Russia and Ukraine have continued heavy bombardment around Severodonestk “with little change to the front line”.
The UK military assessment said morale for Ukrainian and Russian combat units in the Donbas was likely “variable”.
“Many Russian personnel of all ranks also likely remain confused about the war’s objectives.
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Morale problems in the Russian force are likely so significant that they are limiting Russia’s ability to achieve operational objectives,” the ministry tweeted.
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