Severodonetsk inching closer to Russian control 3:12 (CNN) — Ukrainian forces will have to withdraw from Severodonetsk, Luhansk regional military administration chief Serhiy Hayday said Friday, accusing Russia of destroying most of of the city’s infrastructure. “Unfortunately, we will have to withdraw our army [de Severodonetsk]. There is no point in staying in broken positions after many months [de hostilidades], because the number of deaths in unfortified territories can grow every day,” Hayday said in a televised speech. “Our defenders, who are there, have already received an order to withdraw to new positions and from there fully conduct hostilities,” he added. Hayday said the situation in Severodonetsk was untenable after continuous shelling by Russian forces for several months. “The entire infrastructure of the city is completely destroyed,” said the regional military chief. “Over 90% of the houses were shot at, about 80% of the houses were badly destroyed. These are the ones that can no longer be restored, they must be demolished”. Severodonetsk inching closer to Russian control 3:12 Hayday went on to say that Russia was now targeting neighboring Lysychansk from Zolote and Toshkivka some 30km to the south. “They are really successful in some settlements,” he said. “Lysychansk is logistically stretched, the landscape is complex. Therefore, it is difficult to take it immediately.” According to Hayday, Russian attempts to infiltrate the city with sabotage and reconnaissance groups had been repelled. He added that evacuations and deliveries of military and humanitarian aid to the city were continuing. Russia’s advances in Severodonetsk On June 14, Hayday said that the three bridges connecting the beleaguered city of Severodonetsk with its twin city, Lisychansk, to the west, had become impassable to vehicles, severely limiting evacuation options for those trying to flee the city and the supply routes inland. “The bridges allowed to transport at least some humanitarian cargo, something related to reserves. Currently it is impossible to use the bridges,” Hayday said. Destroying the bridges gives the Russian military another advantage, as supply lines are cut off, Hayday said. Getting weapons and supplies is now “difficult, but not impossible,” he said. On that day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that fierce fighting continues in Severodonetsk and the Kharkiv region. In Severodonetsk “losses, unfortunately, are painful,” Zelensky said, “but we have to hold on.” He went on to say that it is vital that the Ukrainian army remains in Donbas. “The more losses the enemy suffers there, the less strength they will have to continue the aggression. Therefore, the leadership of Donbas is key to determining who will dominate in the coming weeks,” Zelensky said.
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