Russia to Immediately Evacuate Civilians from Chemical Plant in Severodonetsk City

Russia to Immediately Evacuate Civilians from Chemical Plant in Severodonetsk City
Russia to Immediately Evacuate Civilians from Chemical Plant in Severodonetsk City

International Military - Russia said it would build a humanitarian corridor to evacuate civilians from a chemical plant in Severodonetsk from Wednesday (15/6/2022), when Ukrainian troops fought desperately to take control of the city.

The industrial center is under intense bombardment, as Russia focuses its attacks on the eastern Donbas region in an attempt to seize most of Ukraine. Moscow troops have also intensified efforts to cut off any remaining Ukrainian troops in the city.

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Russian troops are reported to have destroyed all three bridges linking Severodonetsk, across the river to the sister city of Lysychansk. Currently, about 500 civilians are sheltering at the Azot chemical plant in Severodonetsk, according to the head of the city administration. As reported by AFP, the Russian Defense Ministry announced a humanitarian corridor was established for the evacuation of factories.

Moscow said the move was "guided by humanitarian principles." "Refugees will be transported to the city of Svatovo in the separatist-held Lugansk region," a Moscow statement said. Russia also urged those who remained in the factory to stop their "unreasonable resistance".

There was no response from Kiev to the announcement. In a video address Tuesday night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky lamented the "painful losses" in the ongoing fighting. "But we have to stay strong. This is our country. Surviving in the Donbas is very important.

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Donbas is the key to decide who will dominate in the coming weeks." Kiev troops are facing an increasingly desperate situation in Severodonetsk, with Ukrainian authorities estimating the Russians now control up to 80 percent of the city as they attempt to encircle it.

From a high position in Lysychansk, the AFP team saw black smoke billowing from the Azot factory in Severodonetsk and other areas of the city. The Ukrainian military uses the highlands to exchange fire with Russian troops fighting for control of Severodonetsk, just across the water.

Following the February invasion, Russia was expelled from Kiev and other parts of Ukraine, prompting Moscow's forces to focus their attacks on the Donbas, a mostly Russian-speaking region that has been partly controlled by pro-Kremlin separatists since 2014. Mastering Severodonetsk has been a key goal, as it would pave the way to Sloviansk and another major city, Kramatorsk.

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