POKROVSK: A Ukrainian regional official warned on Friday of deteriorating living conditions in a town captured by Russian forces two weeks ago, saying Sievierodonetsk is without water, electricity or a working sewage system while the bodies of the dead decompose in hot apartment buildings.
Governor Serhiy Haidai said the Russians were launching indiscriminate artillery barrages as they tried to secure their gains in Luhansk province in eastern Ukraine. This week, Moscow claimed full control of Luhansk, but the governor and other Ukrainian officials said their troops retained a small part of the province.
“Lugansk was not fully captured even though the Russians committed their full arsenal to achieve this goal,” Haidai told The Associated Press. “Fierce battles are taking place in several villages on the region’s border. The Russians are relying on tanks and artillery to advance, leaving the earth scorched.”
Russian forces “strike any buildings they believe could be a fortified position”, he said. “They’re not stopped by the fact that civilians are left there and they die in their homes and yards. They keep shooting.”
Occupied Sievierodonetsk, meanwhile, “is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe,” the governor wrote on social media. “The Russians have completely destroyed all critical infrastructure, and they are unable to fix anything.”
Luhansk is one of two provinces that make up Donbass, a region of mines and factories where pro-Moscow separatists fought the Ukrainian army for eight years and declared independent republics which Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized before to send troops to Ukraine.
After taking full control of Luhansk, Cheese fries said Russian forces would have a chance to rest and recover, but other parts of eastern Ukraine came under heavy shelling. The Russian leader has warned Kyiv that he should quickly accept Moscow’s terms or prepare for the worst.
“Everyone should know that, overall, we haven’t started anything serious yet,” Putin said in an interview with Kremlin leaders.
Ukraine’s presidential office said on Friday that at least 12 civilians had been killed and 30 others injured by Russian shelling in the past 24 hours. Two towns in Donetsk – the other province of Donbass – suffered the heaviest barrage, with six dead and 21 injured.
In northeastern Ukraine, four more people were killed and nine were injured in Kharkiv, the country’s second city, where Russian shelling hit residential areas.
Commenting on Putin’s disturbing statement, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian leader was reacting to statements by the Ukrainian government and its Western allies regarding Russia’s defeat on the battlefield.
“Russia’s potential is so great that only a small part of it was used in the special military operation,” Peskov told reporters on Friday. “And so the Western statements are utter nonsense and only add to the grief of the Ukrainian people.”

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