After the fall of Mariupol
Ukraine reports massive fighting in Donbass
05/21/2022, 12:25 p.m.
The city of Sievzherodonetsk has been under Russian fire for days. According to the Ukrainian military, Russia is aiming for control of the Lugansk and Donetsk regions and a land corridor to Crimea. New attacks are also reported in Kharkiv.
After the complete capture of the port city of Mariupol, Russian troops are apparently trying to conquer the last Ukrainian positions in the region. “The enemy does not stop carrying out offensive operations in the eastern combat zone,” the Ukrainian General Staff wrote on Facebook. The aim of the attackers was “to take full control of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and to have a land corridor to occupied Crimea”. From the Russian point of view, the capture of Mariupol is considered an important partial success.
“The attacks in Donbass continue,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his video message that evening. Several cities have already been “completely destroyed” such as Mariupol. “Now they are trying to do the same with Severodonetsk and many other cities,” the head of state said on Friday evening. In the Luhansk region, only the cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, separated by a river, are now controlled by Ukraine.
Ukrainian military governor of Luhansk region Serhiy Hajday reported massive fighting in Donbass. For example, Severodonetsk has been under fire for days, there are dead and wounded. “The Russians are annihilating both Severodonetsk and Mariupol. Fighting continues in the outskirts of the city,” Hajday said on the Telegram news channel. Nevertheless, he was optimistic: our troops are getting foreign weapons, rearming, moving to new positions – and I believe we can counterattack in June,” he said.
The governor complained about the aerial bombardments in the area and that Russia wanted to reduce the area to rubble. At the same time, he dismissed statements by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu that the Luhansk region was about to be completely taken over as “absurd”. Shoigu no longer has an overview of the situation of its own armed forces.
Russia had recognized the pro-Russian separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk in the Donbass as independent shortly before the attack on the neighboring country began on February 24. Parts of the regions have been under the control of pro-Russian forces since 2014.
Ukraine: Kharkiv attacked again
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Friday that the last Ukrainian fighters from the Azov steelworks in Mariupol had surrendered – more than 2,000 in all. This means the city is fully under Russian control, he added. The Ukrainian General Staff in kyiv said the enemy had started clearing the area around the port to make it operational again.
Ukrainian authorities also reported new Russian attacks in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. In the Kyiv district of the megacity, the market was shot down on Friday evening. Several merchant lodges burned down. The published photos of the mass destruction were initially unverifiable.