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Russian and Ukrainian soldiers clash in the streets of Sievierodonetsk | War in Ukraine

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In Sievierodonetsk, in the east of the country, Russian troops have entered the city and street fighting is underwaytold the Associated Press the mayor of the city, Oleksander Striuk, confirming information previously delivered by the regional governor Serguiï Gaïdaï.

Russian fighters advanced a few blocks towards the center of townbut Ukrainian defenders are trying to push them back, he said.

Sievierodonetsk, which had some 100,000 inhabitants before the war, is now home to only 12,000 to 13,000, says the mayor. They mainly live in basements or other bunkers used to try to escape the incessant bombardments of the Russian army, which have already killed 1,500 residents since the start of the war.

The number of casualties is increasing hour by hour, but we are unable to count the dead and injured due to street fighting. […] We have no more electricity and communications are cut. The city is completely ruined. »

A quote from Oleksander Striuk, Mayor of Sievierodonetsk

Governor Gaïdaï also indicated on Telegram that the Russian forces advanced towards the center of Sievierodonetsk, and that street fights are in progress. The fighting continues, the situation is very difficulthe commented.

In a subsequent message, the governor announced that civilian evacuation operations that were underway in the morning were halted after a convoy was hit by Russian fire. A French journalist who was there was killed, announced Mr. Gaïdaï.

French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed shortly after that the victim is Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, a videographer for the streaming news channel BFMTV. The head of French diplomacy Catherine Colonna has required […] a transparent investigation as soon as possible to shed light on his death.

A woman walks among ruined buildings.

Lyssychansk, Sievierodonetsk’s twin city, was also heavily damaged by Russian shelling, as seen in this photo taken on Monday.

Photo: Getty Images/AFP/ARIS MESSINIS

Since the failure of its offensives against kyiv and Kharkiv, the Russian army has returned to its usual tactic, already used in Chechnya or Syria, of crushing enemy towns under a deluge of bombs and gunfire. artillery before launching the assault, underlined the governor Gaïdaï on Ukrainian television.

They bomb for several hours in a row – three, four, five hours – then launch the assault. Those who attack are killed. So they start bombing again and attack again, and so on, until they break through. »

A quote from Sergiï Gaïdaï, governor of the Luhansk region

Sievierodonetsk is the last major city in the Luhansk region still outside the control of Russian forces. If it falls, Russia will be able to concentrate on the conquest of the last portions of the other region which forms the Donbass, that of Donetsk.

Russian troops have been trying for days to encircle the city, which they besiege from the north, south and east, but have still failed to cut off the last supply route, Highway 1302 , which connects it to Bakmut, passing through Lyssytchansk.

Ukrainian counter-offensive in Kherson

The Ukrainian army also launched a counter-offensive at the end of the week in the Kherson region, in the south of the country. With troops from Crimea, the Russian army had quickly captured it in the first weeks of the conflict.

In its update on the situation published overnight from Sunday to Monday, the Ukrainian army claims to be advancing in the region, near the villages of Andriyivka, Lozove and Bilohirka.

A later bulletin issued on Monday morning did not give any specifics as to Kherson, but said Russian forces had brought in special forces to nearby Mykolaiv. with the intention of carrying out offensive actions to recover lost positions.

No comment from the Russian side was initially made regarding kyiv’s claims of construction of defensive lines by Russian troops around Kherson.

This Ukrainian counter-offensive on Kherson comes as the new authorities of the city, appointed by the Kremlin, have already expressed the wish to be attached to Russia, which has announced that it will allow the inhabitants to apply for a Russian passport via a “simplified procedure”.

A car explodes in Melitopol, in conquered territory

A car exploded on Monday morning in Melitopol, pro-Russian authorities in the southern Ukrainian town occupied by Russian forces and the Russian investigative committee said on Monday, accusing kyiv of being behind the incident. attack.

a.m., a car bomb exploded in the center of the city”,”text”:”Around 8 a.m., a car bomb exploded in the center of the city”}}”>Around 8 a.m., a car bomb exploded in the center of the citywrote the administration of the city located in the region of Zaporizhia, near the Sea of ​​Azov.

The Russian Investigative Committee, a powerful body responsible for investigating the most serious crimes, then indicated that three people were injured in this explosion organized by Ukrainian saboteurs and two of them hospitalized.

The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation will identify those involved in this crime in order to bring them to justicehe assures us, although these are facts on Ukrainian territory.

The pro-Russian occupation authorities had previously reported that two volunteers providing humanitarian aid aged 25 and 28 were injured.

This is a cynical terrorist act of the kyiv regime, an act intended to scare the inhabitants of our city, an act directed against civiliansfor her part accused the pro-Russian mayor, Galina Daniltchenko, quoted by the Russian agency Ria Novosti.

Melitopol was conquered by Russian forces in the early days of Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine. Its mayor, Ivan Fedorov, was kidnapped by the Russians on March 11, before being released a few days later. A pro-Russian administration was then installed in the city.

On May 23, Andrei Shevtchik, the mayor installed by Moscow of Enerhodar, another city in southern Ukraine hosting the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, was also injured in an explosion with two of his bodyguards.

According to the Russian investigative committee, a homemade bomb had been placed in an electrical cabinet in the entrance of a residential building. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was a attack committed by nationalists Ukrainians.

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