Ukrainians defending the east are outgunned by their Russian counterparts as more reports come in about the Russian advances. Continuing intense fighting was reported in the Luhansk region on Friday, with a local military officer reporting “fierce battles” for the city of Severodonetsk.
Oleksandr Striuk, the head of the Severodonetsk municipal military administration, declared on television: “There have been bloody clashes for control of the city. The Mir Hotel is a hotspot for us. An enemy sabotage and reconnaissance group penetrated the Mir Hotel on May 26 [Thursday]. The [Ukrainian] Armed Forces stood firm in their defense.”
Russian forces had penetrated the hotel in Severodonetsk’s northwestern outskirts, according to a pro-Russian Telegram group, and street fighting was continuing.
The commander of the Luhansk regional military administration, Serhiy Hayday, stated on Friday that a Ukrainian operation to retake the hotel was begun, but added: “The hotel is still under our control. We are, however, working to expel the ruscists [Russian fascists].”
Hayday also reported intense bombardment on Severodonetsk and neighboring Lysychansk as Russian forces moved from the towns of Purdivka and Shchedryshchevo, claiming the police station in Lysychansk was set on fire and over 50 structures were destroyed.
According to the first impartial assessment examining claims of genocide in Ukraine, Russia’s activities in that country provide enough evidence to determine that Moscow is instigating genocide and committing atrocities intended to destroy the Ukrainian people.
The legal paper accuses Russia of breaking several articles of the United Nations Genocide Convention, which is signed by more than 30 top legal scholars and genocide experts. It warns that genocide is a serious and urgent threat in Ukraine, citing a comprehensive list of evidence that includes mass killings of people, forced deportations, and dehumanizing anti-Ukrainian language by high Russian leaders.