Russian forces ‘destroy everything’ in eastern Ukraine | Russia-Ukraine War News



Russian forces are involved in scorched earth tactics in their offensive in eastern Ukraine, beating civilian areas with missiles and reducing villages, towns and cities, governors of Luhansk and provinces say from Donetsk.

Indiscriminate shelling by Russian forces over the past 24 hours had killed at least eight civilians and injured 25 others, Ukrainian officials said Wednesday.

Most of the civilian casualties were in Donetsk province, where Russia has stepped up its offensive in recent days, Ukraine’s presidential office said.

Listing the number of civilians killed, Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko promised in a telegram post that “every crime will be punished”.

Kyrylenko had urged the province’s more than 350,000 residents to flee late Tuesday, saying the evacuation of Donetsk was necessary to save lives and allow the Ukrainian military to mount a better defense against the Russian advance.

Donetsk is part of the Donbas, a mostly Russian industrial area where Ukraine’s most experienced soldiers are concentrated.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday his forces had completed the seizure of the Donbas region’s other province, Luhansk, after Ukrainian troops withdrew from the last city under their country’s control.

Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai denied on Wednesday that the Russians had completely captured the province, the last city of which, Lysychansk, fell to Moscow forces on Sunday. Heavy fighting continues in the villages of Lysychansk, he said.

“The Russians paid a high price, but the Luhansk region is not fully captured by the Russian army,” Haidai said.

“Some settlements have already been overtaken by each side several times,” he said.

The governor accused Russian forces of scorched earth tactics: “burning and destroying everything in their path.”

Up to 15,000 residents remain in Lysychansk and around 8,000 in the nearby town of Severodonetk, which Russian and separatist fighters seized last month, Haidai said.

‘No safe areas’

On Wednesday, the general staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in their regular social media update Wednesday that Ukrainian troops had pushed forward enemy units towards the Slovians in Donetsk, which is seen as a potential key target for Moscow.

Separatist authorities in Donetsk also said four civilians had been killed and 14 others injured in Ukrainian shelling in the past 24 hours. Reports said the shelling hit an ammunition depot on Tuesday, triggering massive explosions.

North of Donetsk, Russian forces also hit Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, with missile strikes overnight, Kharkiv regional governor Oleh Synyehubov said on Telegram. Three districts of the city were targeted. One person was killed and three, including a toddler, injured, according to the governor.

In the south of the country, the port of Mykolaiv was also heavily shelled, said Oleksandr Senkevych, its mayor, a briefing said.

“There are no safe areas in Mykolaiv,” he said. “I tell people… they have to go.”

The city has already lost about half of its pre-war population of half a million.

‘Wrath of God’

In a sign that Moscow is not preparing to end its military offensive against Ukraine anytime soon, Russia’s parliament rushed Wednesday, forcing companies to supply goods to the armed forces and forcing employees in companies supporting the war effort to work overtime.

According to the draft laws, companies will be required by law to provide goods and services necessary for the conduct of the “special military operation” in Ukraine to the armed forces, and employees of certain companies producing goods and services necessary for the Russian army will be required to work overtime at night, on weekends or during holidays.

“In the context of operations carried out by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation outside Russia, including on the territory of Ukraine, it is necessary to repair weapons, military equipment and provide the Armed Forces with material and technical means”, an Explanatory note to one of the bills indicated.

A senior Russian official also warned on Wednesday that the United States and Western allies could face the “wrath of God” if attempts are made to punish a nuclear power like Russia for crimes committed in its war in Ukraine.

Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Secretary of Russia’s Security Council, denounced the United States for what he described as its efforts to establish an international court and “spread chaos and destruction across the world for the ‘real’ democracy “”.

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