Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk ‘fully occupied’ by Russian troops

The focus of the battle for Severodonetsk over the past few weeks has been the Azot chemical plant, a sprawling site that provided a defensive position for its defenders similar to the Azov steelworks in Mariupol.

However, the Azot plant does not have the same extensive tunnel network and was also pockmarked with potential poisonous chemical stores, making it far harder to defend.

Quoting Russian army officers, a Russian news agency reported that the plant had now been captured. Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen leader, said the last 800 civilians sheltering in the site had left.

After the fall of Severodonetk, fighting in Lysychansk was intensifying, Andrei Marochko, a representative of pro-Russian separatists, said on his Telegram channel.

“The people’s militia of the Lugansk People’s Republic and the Russian army have entered the city of Lysychansk,” he said. “Street fighting is currently taking place.”

Russia appeared to be increasing its attacks elsewhere in Ukraine. Ukrainian military intelligence said 12 missiles had been fired by Russian fighter jets as they flew through Belarusian airspace at regions to the north of Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, said 48 missiles in total had been fired across the country, adding: “Russia is still trying to intimidate Ukraine, cause panic and make people be afraid.”

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