Sergiy Haidai, the leader of Ukraine’s forces in Lugansk, said it was too late for thousands of people in Seyerodonetsk to evacuate when the city was surrounded by Russian troops from many directions.
Sergiy Haidai – Commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in Lugansk
In a statement on his personal Telegram page on May 24, Sergiy Haidai said that Sievierodonetsk is being attacked by the Russian army from three directions and the villages and towns around the city are being heavily bombed.
Sergiy Haidai also expressed concern when he announced that the Russian army was trying to control the important roads connecting Sievierodonestsk with the western region and cut off supply lines.
“In this situation, I will not urge people to go out, to evacuate. Instead I have to say find a safe haven. The intense shelling didn’t allow us to collect and evacuate people,” said Sergiy Haidai.
“The Russian army is assembling its forces to attack and besiege Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk. With artillery support, they are conducting a series of attacks,” wrote Sergiy Haidai.
Sergiy Haidai stressed that Severodonetsk is still controlled by Ukraine and that the Russian military is concentrating almost all its forces in Lugansk to attack that city. According to Sergiy Haidai, there are about 25 Russian Battalion-level Battle Groups (BTGs) surrounding Severodonetsk.
Ukrainian soldiers stand in front of a street destroyed in fighting (Photo: Guardian)
Regarding the military situation in the east, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on May 24 that the Russian military attack on Donbass was “the largest attack on European soil since World War II.”
Given the current trajectory of hostilities, Kuleba said it was “too early” to say that Ukraine already has all the necessary weapons to defend itself against Russian military attacks.
“Partners must expedite the assistance of weapons and ammunition, especially self-propelled artillery, long-range artillery and armored fighting vehicles,” Kuleba urged on Twitter.
The latest moves show that Kherson — a Russian-controlled area of Ukraine home to hundreds of thousands of people — is increasingly leaning toward Moscow.