By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
KYIV/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – Authorities say evacuations of civilians and troops have become impossible in eastern Ukraine’s embattled city of Severodonetsk as Russian forces the region. The clashes come amid mounting concerns about the plight of three men sentenced to death by pro-Russian separatists for fighting with Ukrainian forces.
Street battles continue in the bombed-out eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk, where Ukrainian and Russian forces fight for every meter.
Footage emerged purportedly showing smoke rising from a chemical plant in the city after Russia’s military apparently hit it.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned earlier that the battle for the city and other areas of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region would go down as one of the most brutal in European history.
The Russian military reportedly cut off the remaining routes for evacuating citizens from Severodonetsk. Officials said the last bridge to the city has been destroyed, trapping any remaining civilians and making it impossible to deliver humanitarian supplies.
The regional governor reported that some 70 percent of the strategic city is under Russian control, while a top Ukrainian commander claimed the land is covered in blood. And the neighboring town of Lysychansk was also being pounded by Russian artillery as civilians try to flee.
President Zelensky said the setbacks come as outgunned Ukraine needs more advanced Western weapons to resist Russia’s military in these and other cities in Ukraine’s Donbas region. “The price of this battle for us is very high. It is just scary. And we draw the attention of our partners daily that only a sufficient number of modern artillery will ensure our advantage and finally, end the Russian torture of the Ukrainian Donbas.”
President Zelensky added that among the many killed in recent hours is a six-year-old boy.
The fighting has led to domestic and global food shortages, with Kyiv warning that the country’s grain harvest will likely drop by almost half this year following the Russian invasion.
As clashes escalate, Britain’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss pledged to do “whatever necessary” to free two Britons sentenced to death after fighting in Ukraine. Aiden Aslin, Shaun Pinner, and a Moroccan, Saaudun Brahim, deny charges of being mercenaries.
They were sentenced this month by the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine, which pro-Russian separatists run. Speaking from behind a cage during the recent trial, Aslin expressed his concerns about their imminent death sentence. “I was hoping the sentence would be a lot fairer, including the circumstances in which I helped the investigation. And also because I surrendered to the Donetsk People’s Republic. I wish it could be different, but God will be the One who judges me when the time comes,” he told reporters.
Moscow said Britain should speak to their plight with the Donetsk People’s Republic, which the West does not recognize. But British officials feared Russia would use the men as hostages to gain an advantage over Britain or Ukraine.
The standoff underscored the human suffering in the war, which already claimed at least tens of thousands of lives.
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