The governor of Ukraine’s Luhansk region announced on Tuesday that Russian forces currently control most of the eastern city of Severodonetsk, but have not encircled it.
Serhi Gaidai explained in an online post that the Russian bombing made it impossible to provide humanitarian aid or evacuate people, “Reuters” reported.
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In parallel, the regional governor noted that Russian forces bombed a tank containing nitric acid at a chemical plant in Severodonetsk and urged residents to stay in shelters.
He explained that an airstrike by Russian forces “hit a tank containing nitric acid at a chemical factory”. “Nitric acid is dangerous when inhaled, swallowed or in contact with the skin,” he said.
Gaidai confirmed earlier today that the situation in the city was “extremely complex”. He added that part of Severodonetsk is under Russian control.
Gaidai also stated that “the enemy is planning an operation to clear the lands of neighboring towns”, emphasizing that he does not know about the three doctors who disappeared since last night.
The Russians had previously entered the southeast and northeast areas of the city, but the Ukrainian defenses slowed their wider campaign in the Donbass, which aimed to control the entire area.
It is noteworthy that the fall of Severodonetsk opened the way for Russian control of the cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, the last strongholds of the Ukrainian forces in the east.
Severodonetsk and its neighboring city, Lysekhansk, more than 80 km from Kramatorsk, have become the administrative center of the Donbass region since Moscow-backed separatists took control of the eastern part of the basin in 2014.