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Ukraine says it is holding off Russian assault in key eastern city

Ukrainian forces were successfully holding out against the assault in Sievierodonetsk, the general staff said on Wednesday, while Russian troops were bringing in new resources towards Donbas in an intense battle for control of the eastern region.

The days-long battle for the industrial city has emerged as pivotal, with Russia focusing its offensive might in the hope of achieving one of its stated aims – to fully capture surrounding Luhansk province on behalf of Russian-backed separatists.

The absolutely heroic defence of Donbas is ongoing,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video statement on Tuesday. “It is absolutely felt that the occupiers did not believe the resistance of our military would be so strong and now they are trying to bring in new resources towards the Donbas.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that the situation in several cities remained difficult, while a ‘heroic defense’ of Donbas against Russian troops is ongoing

— Reuters (@Reuters) June 8, 2022
Since being pushed back from Kyiv and Kharkiv, Russia has focused on the region known as the Donbas, composed of Luhansk and Donetsk provinces, and closest to the Russian border.

Heavy shelling
Satellite imagery from Maxar Technologies collected on Monday showed significant damage in Sievierodonetsk and nearby Rubizhne.

Satellite imagery from June 6, 2022 #Ukraine
1.) Field-deployed MRL w/ rocket pods oriented toward #Severodonetsk (49.054, 38.515)
2.) Towed artillery deployed & oriented toward Severodonetsk (49.035, 38.521)
3.) Artillery shells exploding around town of #Dolyna (48.997, 37.427)

— Maxar Technologies (@Maxar) June 7, 2022
Our soldiers are successfully holding back the assault,” the Ukraine general staff said on Wednesday, adding its troops were also holding off attacks in Toshkivka and Ustynivka to the south.

Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai said on Wednesday that Lysychansk, which is across the river from Sievierodonetsk, was also being shelled. A local man was killed on a central street on Tuesday and a woman was hospitalised, he added.

Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, was also hit by shelling on Tuesday, and the local mayor said one person was killed. The northeastern city had been quieter in recent weeks.

Overnight, #Russian occupiers struck a shopping mall in #Kharkiv with "high-precision" rockets.

— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) June 8, 2022
More than two weeks since the siege of the southern city of Mariupol ended, Tass news agency cited a Russian law enforcement source as saying that over 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers who surrendered there have been transferred to Russia for investigation.

For now, Ukraine has managed to return 210 dead bodies from Mariupol – 🇺🇦Defense Ministry's Main Directorate of Intelligence

Most of them are fallen Azovstal defenders.

— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) June 8, 2022
The country has also handed over to Kyiv the bodies of 210 Ukrainian fighters, most of whom died defending the city at a vast steel works, the Ukrainian military reported on Tuesday.

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