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Fear, suspicion and split loyalties in Ukrainian city where situation is spiralling out of control

The time is running out for thousands of people trapped in Severodonetsk, and they are facing a very difficult task.

One of our last trips was made before heavy shelling forced the Ukrainian military to close the bridge that allowed us to enter the city.

In the last few days, the city has been under sustained and intense bombardment as both sides fight for control. There has been no respite from the fighting day and night.

It seems that the Russian troops are invading our city. They are trying to take this city with all they have – shelling and pounding, missile strikes, and signs that they have ground troops on the city’s perimeters, but also inching their way in.

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Russian soldiers have fired on volunteers who were trying to provide water and food to those trapped by the fighting.

One of them was shot in the arm, but they fled to safety at nearby houses where they were delivering assistance. Those inside bolted from their doors and refused entry. Although it is not known why they did this, it speaks to the fear and suspicion that this city is quickly becoming a center for the Russian military.

Image Severodonetsk’s dead are buried in a new cemetery


It’s worse

However, the Ukrainian troops are far outnumbered. In some parts of the Donbas, the president of Ukraine has warned that there could be seven to one.



Russia moves missile system through Belarus as Putin targets Slovakia – All the latest Ukraine news

It seems like only a matter of time that this important city in the Donbas region of Luhansk will fall under Russian control. If it happens, Russia will likely use it to launch further moves into Donetsk and the Donbas, which are the two areas that make up the region.

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Residents describe living in constant bombings

Severodonetsk is in dire straits and it appears that things are about to get worse.

For weeks, they have been without power, communication or running water. Because of the constant bombardment, there is little movement in the city. Many people still living in the city escape to basements and shelters to forage water or cook.


Extremely dark

Evacuations are being halted as the main hospital is under attack. Although most patients have been evacuated, we believe that about ten are still alive.

Image: Klavidia (91), is strapped on an improvised stretcher while she boards a train to flee the fighting in Severodonetsk. Pic by Associated Press

Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Ukraine’s commander-in-chief of its armed forces, urged the West to send more long-range weapons. According to the Kyiv Independent, he stated that ‘we are in great demand of weapons that will allow us to hit the enemy at a long range.”

President Zelenskyy warned that the end of this conflict will likely see some of its most bloody battles. One was seen in Severodonetsk.

The city’s future looks extremely grim for the next few weeks and days.

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