Ukraine Orders Withdrawal From Severodonetsk to Avoid Encirclement – The Wall Street Journal

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  • The withdrawal marks a small but symbolically important victory for Russians in the battle for control of Donbas.
  • Fierce fighting in the city destroyed 80% of its buildings and all of its vital infrastructure, the head of the regional administration said.
  • Russian forces have made advances near Lysychansk, another key city in the region, in recent days.

Ukraine ordered its troops to withdraw from their remaining foothold in the city of Severodonetsk to avoid encirclement, ending a battle that lasted nearly two months and giving Russia a small but symbolically important victory in the grinding war for control of eastern Ukraine’s Donbas area.

Severodonetsk, a city of just over 100,000 people before the war, served as the administrative center of Ukrainian-controlled parts of Luhansk, one of the two regions that make up Donbas. Most of the city was taken by Russian troops in recent weeks, with Ukrainian defenders mostly holed up in the sprawling Azot industrial plant.

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