Ukrainian officials on Friday reported ongoing heavy fighting in the Luhansk region, with a local military leader describing “fierce battles” for the city of Severodonetsk.
In televised comments, Oleksandr Striuk, head of the military administration of the city of Severodonetsk, said: “The city has been fiercely fought over. We have a hotspot, the Mir hotel. On May 26 [Thursday], an enemy sabotage and reconnaissance group entered the Mir Hotel. The [Ukrainian] Armed forces resist.”
A pro-Russian Telegram station said Russian troops had penetrated the hotel, which is in northern Severodonetsk, and that street fighting was underway.
Serhiy Hayday, the head of Luhansk’s regional military administration, said a Ukrainian operation to retake the hotel was underway on Friday, but added: “We are not yet in control of the hotel. But we are working to to drive out the ruscists [Russian fascists]†
Hayday also described heavy shelling around Severodonetsk and neighboring Lysychansk as Russian troops pushed toward the towns of Purdivka and Shchedryshchevo, saying it set fire to the police station in Lysychansk and damaged about 50 buildings in the area.
“Severodonetsk residents have already forgotten what it’s like when the city is quiet for at least half an hour,” Hayday said.
“Russians constantly harass residential areas. On May 26, four residents of Severodonetsk were killed by enemy shells in the old quarters of the city. Two of them died simultaneously near a high-rise building. There is damage to the housing stock; 11 apartment buildings and a residential house.”