Russia is “suffering huge loses” and losing ground in the city of Sievierodonetsk, Ukrainian officials said Saturday.
Russia had “previously managed to capture most of the city,” Sergiy Haidai, the governor of the Luhansk region said in a televised address Saturday, The Guardian reported. “But now our military has pushed them back.”
Haidai, who oversees the territory where Sievierodonetsk is located, said he expected US-made weaponry to seal the deal.
“They are moving forward step-by-step. They are simply destroying everything with artillery, aircraft, mortars, tanks,” he said. “But as soon as we have enough Western long-range weapons, we will push their artillery away from our positions. And then, believe me, the Russian infantry, they will just run.”
Independent information from Sievierodonetsk has been difficult to come by as lines of communication have been cut and the city remains fiercely contested. Haidai previously estimated that about 70% of the city had been in Russian hands before recent Ukrainian breakthroughs. The city has faced brutal shelling for weeks from Russian forces.
Ukrainian military officials said the continued fighting was not unexpected and Eastern Ukraine would remain a focal point of Russian aggression. “Until the end, we believed that our enemy would not begin a large-scale invasion on all fronts,” said Brigadier General Dmytro Krasylnykov, the Kyiv Independent reported.