In Sievjerodonetsk, Ukraine’s battle seems almost lost – more than 80 percent of the city is in Russian hands. Locals warn of toxic fumes following an attack on a nitric acid tank. All news about the attack on Ukraine can be found here in the ticker.
8:06 a.m .: The Ukrainian military concede that the Russian offensive in Komyshuvahka was at least “partially successful”. The urban settlement is south of the city of Lyssychansk, a stage destination for the Russians. Lysychansk and Sieverodonetsk are separated only by the river Seversky Donets.
The attack from the south is intended to protect the Russian armed forces from having to cross this river again, according to the military experts at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in their most recent analysis. During the campaign, the Russian military made several unsuccessful attempts to cross the river using floating bridges.
According to the Ukrainian general staff, another such attempt failed outside the city of Sloviansk. There, Russian troops coming from Lyman tried to take the village of Raihorodok on the Siwerski Donets, but were repulsed.
6:21 a.m .: Russian troops are taking building by building in the strategically important industrial city of Sievjerodonetsk in eastern Ukraine. They now controlled “80 percent of the city,” said regional governor Serhij Gajdaj on Thursday night. Ukrainian army chief Valeriy Zalushnyi said his soldiers in Luhansk were facing the “most difficult situation” at the moment.
“The enemy has an operational advantage in terms of artillery,” he admitted in a telephone conversation on Wednesday with his French colleague Thierry Burkhard, according to Kyiv. He advocated converting his troops to NATO types of weapons “as soon as possible”. “It would save lives.” Ukraine is hoping for multiple rocket launchers recently promised by US President Joe Biden, which promise greater range and accuracy.
“The situation in the east is really difficult,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told US broadcaster Newsmax in an interview published on Wednesday. “Every day we lose 60 to 100 soldiers who are killed in combat and about 500 are wounded.”
7.41 p.m .: According to the General Staff in Kyiv, the Russian troops have “partially succeeded” in fighting in the embattled city of Sievjerodonetsk in the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine. The enemy is in control of the eastern part of the city, the Ukrainian military command said on Wednesday evening. The storm on the big city continues, it was said. The pro-Russian separatists claimed they had already taken control of more than 70 percent of the city.
Sieverodonetsk is the administrative center in the Ukrainian-controlled part of the Luhansk region. There has been fighting there for days. Should Russian troops capture the city, they would have complete control over the Luhansk region. Taking the Luhansk and Donetsk regions is one of the goals set by Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin in Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.
Separatist representative Andrei Marochko announced that the entire city would soon be taken. Most of the Ukrainian army has already left Sieverodonetsk. There are only isolated groups. Because of the catastrophic humanitarian situation, relief supplies are urgently needed for the people, which Russia is supposed to deliver.
The Ukrainian governor of Luhansk, Serhiy Hajday, had already said on Tuesday that most of Sieverodonetsk is now under Russian control. Still, the Ukrainian defenders didn’t give up. Ninety percent of the city’s buildings are damaged, and 60 percent are not worth rebuilding, he said. It is expected that the pro-Russian separatists, with Moscow’s help, will continue their westward advance and then take control of the Donetsk region.
3:06 p.m .: The Ukrainian armed forces only hold 20 percent of the eastern Ukrainian city of Sievjerodonetsk. However, there is still hope that they could prevent Russian troops from taking it completely, Olexandr Strjuk, mayor of the industrial city in the Luhansk region, told Reuters news agency. The Russian soldiers controlled 60 percent of the city. The remaining 20 percent have become no man’s land, says Strjuk.
12,000 to 13,000 people stayed in Sievjerodonetsk. It is currently not possible to bring them to safety or to deliver them food. The mayor leaves the question of where he is staying unanswered.
1:11 p.m .: According to a Russian governor, the conquered Mariupol and St. Petersburg should become twin cities. “Mariupol is going through a difficult period today and we are ready to help in its revival,” St. Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov wrote on the city’s government website. The Baltic Sea city wants to support the destroyed port city especially in the areas of construction, housing and education. He announced that he would sign an agreement with Konstantin Ivaschschenko, the Russian leader of Mariupol, “as soon as possible”.
1:04 p.m .: According to its own statements, the Russian military has destroyed western weapon systems delivered to Ukraine with massed air and artillery strikes. “Up to 200 Nationalists and 24 weapon systems were destroyed, including a battery of 155mm M777 howitzers, the 203mm 2S7 ‘Pion’ gun, a ‘Grad’ multiple rocket launcher and two ammunition depots,” the spokesman said of the Russian Defense Ministry, Igor Konashenkov, on Wednesday. According to media reports, Ukraine has received M777 howitzers from Australia and the USA.
According to Konashenkov, the kills were achieved by the rocket and artillery troops. He also listed the shelling of command posts, troop concentrations and military convoys by the Luftwaffe. In addition, the Russian air defense shot down a Su-25 fighter jet and a Mi-8 military helicopter in the Kharkiv area. Most of the other targets were hit in the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine. There, the Russian armed forces have shifted the current focus of their attack efforts. The information from Moscow could not be verified independently.
12:02 p.m .: Russian troops are building a second line of defense to consolidate their positions in southern Ukraine’s Zaporizhia Oblast. This was reported by the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on Facebook. Accordingly, the Russian troops moved a T-62 tank battalion and a Panzergrenadier battalion near the settlement of Vasylivka. On the Avdiivka-Kurakhove-Novopavlivka axis, the enemy held their positions and would continue to shell Ukrainian positions with artillery and mortars.
In the vicinity of the settlements of Mykolayivka, Nowopavliwske and Shyroke, however, the Russian troops also used large-scale bombardments with multiple rockets.
10:58 a.m .: According to the Interfax news agency, the Russian nuclear forces have carried out a maneuver in the Ivanovo province northeast of Moscow. About 1,000 soldiers would hold extensive exercises with over 100 emergency vehicles, reports Interfax, citing the Russian Ministry of Defense. Practice is also being carried out with launchers for ballistic ICBMs of the “Jars” type. The information cannot be independently verified.
9:27 a.m .: According to British secret services, Russia is said to have occupied more than half of the eastern Ukrainian city of Sievjerodonetsk after heavy fighting. In the past two days, fighting has intensified and the Russians have advanced further into the city center, the British Ministry of Defense said in an update on Wednesday. Chechen fighters are also deployed.
Elsewhere, Moscow continues to conduct long-range missile attacks against infrastructure targets across Ukraine, it said.
You can read more reports on the Ukraine conflict on the following pages.