Updated Jun 24, 2022 - World

Ukrainian troops to withdraw from Severodonetsk, local leader says

Ukrainian troops ride a tank on a road of the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas on June 21.

Ukrainian troops in a tank on a road in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas on June 21. Photo: Anatolii Stepanov/AFP via Getty Images

Ukrainian troops will have to withdraw from the besieged eastern city of Severodonetsk, the regional governor said Friday.

Why it matters: The last remaining major city in the Luhansk region of the Donbas still under Ukrainian control has endured weeks of bombardment by Russia's invading forces.

  • Lysychansk, Severodonetsk's twin city in the Luhansk region, has also endured days of heavy shelling, prompting a Ukrainian official to warn the battle for the Donbas is "entering a sort of fearsome climax" this week.

Driving the news: "Unfortunately, we will have to remove our military from Severodonetsk, because staying in broken positions makes no sense — the number of dead is growing," Luhansk region Gov. Serhiy Haidai said in a Telegram post.

  • "Defenders of Severodonetsk will leave the city for new, more fortified positions," Haidai said in a later post.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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