|Sievierodonetsk, 1,500 people killed|
Fierce fighting took place in the only city in the Luhansk region still under Ukrainian control. The fierce resistance of the Ukrainian nationalist forces made the city of Sievierodonetsk in Ukraine destroyed. Mayor Oleksandr Stryuk said his party persisted despite Russian reconnaissance and sabotage groups breaking into a city hotel. Stryuk said at least 1,500 people had died in Sievierodonetsk and about 12,000 to 13,000 were still in the city, where he said 60 percent of residential buildings had been destroyed. Sievierodonetsk is the only part of the Luhansk region in the Donbas that is under the control of the Ukrainian government, and Russian forces have been trying to separate it from the rest of the territory controlled by Ukraine. Stryuk said the main road between the neighboring cities of Lysychansk and Bakhmut in the southwest remained open, but the journey was dangerous.
He said only 12 people could be evacuated by Thursday. The Governor of the Luhansk Oblast (provincial level) Sergiy Haidai accused Russia of participating in the raiding of shelters in Seivierodonetsk, a city in Donbass which is being contested by Russian and Ukrainian troops, Wednesday (25/5/2022). Haidai said the fighting on the outskirts of Sievierodonetsk was now fierce. He stated that a vital supply line for Ukraine was under attack by Russia. In addition, Haidai accused Russia of deliberately bombarding "places where citizens could be hiding." He claimed Sievierodonetsk was hit by Russian bombers.
The Luhansk governor stated that Ukrainian troops could still defend Sievierodonetsk. However, according to him, the situation on the ground is getting more difficult for those who survive. “The situation is serious. This city (Sievierodonetsk is constantly being bombarded with all the weapons that are in enemy control," Haidai told the Associated Press. Earlier, Haidai stated that Russia is intensifying its offensive in Donbass and is seeking to completely capture Luhansk Oblast. According to him, now Russia has occupied "more than 90%" of the Luhansk region which is partly controlled by the separatists since 2014. He mentioned that only two cities in Luhansk are still under Ukrainian control, namely Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk.
The line between Lysychansk and Bakhmut in the southwest of the city was vital for Ukrainian troops on the Donbass front. The line kept Ukrainian troops on the front getting the supplies they needed. Russia shelled more than 40 towns in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, destroying dozens of high-rise buildings, authorities said Thursday (26/5/2022), Reuters reported. Having failed to seize both the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and its second city, Kharkiv, Russia is trying to wrest full control of the Donbas on behalf of the separatists. The industrial zone comprises the provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk.
Russia is deploying thousands of troops to the region, attacking from three sides in an attempt to encircle the Ukrainian forces holding out in the twin cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk.
The fall of these cities would put the entire province of Luhansk under Russian control, the Kremlin's main war objective. "Everything is now focused on Donbas," Ukrainian interior ministry adviser Vadym Denisenko told a news conference. He said the situation was very tense as 25 Russian battalion tactical groups tried to surround Ukrainian troops. The Joint Task Force of the Ukrainian armed forces said Russia had shelled more than 40 towns in the region, destroying or damaging 47 civilian sites, including 38 houses and a school. "As a result of this shooting, five civilians were killed and 12 injured," he said on Facebook.
He said that 10 Russian attacks had been repelled, four tanks and four drones were destroyed, and 62 enemy soldiers were killed. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's office said 11 high-rise buildings in Sievierodonetsk and 8 in Lysychansk had been demolished. Zelenskiy said Russian troops far outnumbered Ukrainian troops in parts of the east. Kyiv has also failed to arrange a prisoner swap with Moscow.
Meanwhile, as reported by Al Jazeera, the governor of Donetsk said at least 431 civilians had been killed and 1,168 injured in the region since the start of the Russian invasion.
But he said the number of victims in Mariupol and the city of Volnovakha was currently unknown. "Russian armed forces killed and destroyed the civilian infrastructure of the Donetsk settlement, leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless," Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Telegram. On Wednesday (05/25/2022), an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol said city officials estimated at least 22,000 civilians had died in the three months of the Russian invasion.