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Tuesday, 16 August 2022
Russian forces occupy all of Ukraine's Sievierodonetsk - mayor
A tank of the Ukrainian Armed Forces its seen in the industrial area of the city of Sievierodonetsk, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, Ukraine June 20, 2022. Picture taken June 20, 2022. REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak

The mayor of Sievierodonetsk said Russian forces had fully occupied the strategic frontline city in eastern Ukraine after weeks of fighting and bombardment.

Mayor Oleksandr Stryuk said on national television: "The city is now under the full occupation of Russia. They are trying to establish their own order, as far as I know they have appointed some kind of commandant.”

The city forms the eastern part of an enclave controlled by the Ukrainians, and Russia has been trying to bypass it since mid-April, when it announced its intention to "liberate Donbass".

On Saturday (June 25), Russian forces and their allies entered Lyschansk, where "street battles" are taking place in the city adjacent to Sievierodonetsk, according to the separatists.

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An analyst specializing in security and strategic affairs, Leon Radziusini, said that this region was previously a center for the manufacture of coal and chemicals, and is the last enclave of Ukrainian resistance in the Lugansk region.

The control of Lysichansk means the complete control of the Lugansk province, and this would open the way for the Russian forces to make their way to the rest of Donetsk regions, specifically the cities of Kramotorsk and Slaviansk, and thus to the entire Donbass region.