Russia says eastern attack is going well, strikes Ukraine with missiles

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June 19 (Reuters) – Russia said on Sunday that its offensive against Sievierodonetsk in eastern Ukraine was proceeding successfully after it took control of a district in the outskirts of the city.

“The offensive in the Sievierodonetsk direction is developing successfully,” Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a video statement. He said the settlement of Metyolkine, on the eastern outskirts of the city, had been taken.

Smoke from shelling rises near a mine waste bank in Lysychansk, Luhansk area, Ukraine, 18 June 2022, five kilometers north-east of Severodonetsk. The city and its surroundings have turned into a battlefield in the past weeks. Russian troops on 24 February had invaded Ukraine, starting a conflict that provoked death, destruction and a humanitarian crisis ever since.

“The armed forces of the Russian Federation continue to strike military targets on the territory of Ukraine,” he said.

Konashenkov said long-range Kalibr cruise missiles struck a command centre in the Dnipropetrovsk region, killing Ukrainian generals and officers, including from the general staff. 

Igor Zakharevich (L), the militant-appointed mayor of Debaltseve, arranges the flags of Russia and the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic at the city administration building of Svitlodarsk, Donetsk region, Ukraine, 26 May 2022. Russia has taken control of the city of Svetlodarsk, located 80 km southwest of Severodonetsk, which was the center of Russian attacks in recent days. EPA-EFE/ALESSANDRO GUERRA

Reuters was unable to independently verify the details or toll of Russia’s strikes on Ukraine. 

Russia also said it had destroyed 10 155-mm M777 howitzers and up to 20 military vehicles in the Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv that had been supplied by Western countries over the past 10 days.

Iskander missiles struck a Kharkiv tank repair plant in Ukraine, destroying two multiple rocket launch systems, Konashenkov said. 

(Reporting by Reuters; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

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