Ukraine: Zelenskyy Describes Severodonetsk and Lysychansk as Dead, Russia Hands Over Mariupol Fallen
Russia is never going to stop.
Day 104. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is still going on. Unfortunately, it looks like Russia has the Luhansk region.
So many people left Severodonetsk and Lysychansk. Russian forces outnumber Ukrainians but they will not give up. Ukrainians will keep fighting.
Cholera in Mariupol
Russia controls Mariupol but it’s a mess. Health officials worry the city might have a cholera outbreak:
The city’s exiled local leaders have voiced concern about the water supply for weeks, and on Monday, mayoral aide Petro Andryushchenko said that decomposing bodies and piles of garbage are contaminating drinking sources, leaving residents vulnerable to cholera, dysentery and other ailments.
The Russian officials now running the city recently imposed a quarantine, Andryushchenko said in an appearance on Ukrainian television. He did not elaborate on the measures, and his statement could not be independently verified, but he said the humanitarian situation there was getting worse.
“Spontaneous burials are still in almost every yard in Mariupol,” the city council wrote in an update on Telegram. “Bodies are rotting under the rubble of hundreds of high-rise buildings. And it literally poisons the air.”
Public health experts have warned that warming weather and prolonged warfare could expose Ukraine — its soldiers and civilians — to infectious diseases, potentially ushering in a new phase of the conflict that forces authorities to contend with outbreaks of illness while fending off Russia’s invasion. The most at-risk areas, officials have said, are the country’s occupied regions, where long bouts of fighting have left sanitation systems in ruins.
Russia continues to bombard Ukraine on many fronts:
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense says that Russian forces have launched missiles and air strikes against a number of targets across Ukraine, as they try to break down Ukrainian defenses and hit key infrastructure. Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, the Defense Ministry spokesperson, said Russia was carrying out “intense fire and assault operations along the entire line of combat confrontation in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.” Seven aircraft had launched guided missiles from above the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, while coastal missile systems in Crimea were also active. On the ground, Motuzyanyk said the Russians had made some advances, including north of Sloviansk, where they were advancing in the Sviatohirsk area toward the Siverskiy Donets River.
Mariupol Steel Plant
Russia captured Mariupol after the Azovstal steel plant fell after weeks of shelling. The Ukrainians have finally received the fallen:
Russia has begun turning over the bodies of Ukrainian fighters killed at the Azovstal steelworks, the fortress-like plant in Mariupol that became a symbol of resistance against Moscow’s invasion.
Dozens of the dead taken from the bombed-out mill’s now Russian-occupied ruins have been transferred to Kyiv where DNA testing is underway to identify the remains, according to both a military leader and a spokeswoman for the Azov Regiment.
The Azov Regiment was among the Ukrainian units that defended the steelworks for nearly three months before surrendering in May under relentless Russian attacks from the ground, sea and air.
It was unclear how many bodies might remain at the plant.
Meanwhile, Russian forces continued to fight for control of Sievierodonetsk, an eastern Ukrainian city that is key to Moscow’s goal of completing the capture of the industrial Donbas region.
Ukraine moved against Russia in Severodonetsk over the weekend, but the inevitable has happened. Most residents have left and Russia outnumbers Ukraine in the city and Lysychansk:
Both sides fought for the city in street-by-street battles on Monday as artillery shells rained from above.
The intensity of fighting there and in nearby Lysychansk has made them both “dead cities”, Mr Zelensky said.
If captured, the two strategic targets would deliver Russian forces the entire Luhansk region in Ukraine’s east.
Since pulling its forces back from the Kyiv region in March, Russia has refocused its military efforts on Ukraine’s eastern Donbas making slow advances there in recent weeks.
Despite the Russians’ superior numbers, Mr Zelensky said the Ukrainian defenders were holding out and had “every chance” of fighting back.
Artillery strikes have also intensified on neighbouring Lysychansk, which Mr Zelensky said he had visited on Sunday as part of a tour of the eastern front line.
An elderly resident in the city, Oleksandr Lyakhovets, said a Russian missile had struck his flat soon after, engulfing it in flames.
“They shoot here endlessly… It’s a horror show,” the 67-year-old told AFP news agency.
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