Oleksandr Striuk, the head of the civilian military administration in the embattled Ukrainian industrial city of Severodonetsk, said on Saturday that Ukrainian forces were in a “difficult defensive position” as fighting raged on the outskirts of the city.
In comments on national television, Striuk said some of the most intense fighting has centered around the Mir Hotel on the outskirts of the city.
“A real battle can be heard in the area of the central bus station,” he said. “Our army is in a difficult defensive position. The city is under constant shelling. The humanitarian headquarters that is located in the city was practically immobilized today, because it is not safe to move around the city, and the work of the headquarters was suspended.”
Striuk described a plight, saying there was no cell phone communication and the electricity was out. His comments come just hours after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his late-night address on Saturday that the time until Ukraine’s liberation is “shortening every day”, and that it is “only a matter of time” before Ukraine loses Russia’s gains. takes back.
“We supplied water to the city using electricity, pumping stations,” he said. “The water that is available comes from open wells with generators. There are about six or seven wells in the city. It is extremely dangerous, as soon as people gather for water, shelling starts there.”
However, Striuk expressed some confidence that the city could sustain with a limited number of road deliveries.
There are still opportunities to reach the city,” he said. “There are opportunities for minimum payload delivery. This is extremely difficult, but still possible.
“The evacuation is very unsafe, few people, priority for the injured. Only a first level of medical care is available in the city.”
In a statement, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine claimed that Russian forces had suffered losses and retreated to some previously occupied positions towards Severodonetsk, but added that the Russians continued to scout the area to identify elements and to fall. of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
Fedir Venislavskyi, a member of the Ukrainian parliament’s national security, defense and intelligence committee, said the coming days “will be decisive” in the battle for Severodonetsk.
“Our forces pushed the enemy back to the positions he had previously taken,” he said. “But we have to understand that Russian troops are practically on the outskirts of Severodonetsk.”