SIEVIERODONETSK — Ukraine said it had recaptured a chunk of the factory city of Sievierodonetsk, the focus of a Russian offensive to take the eastern Donbas region, and could hold it for up to two weeks as fighting raged on Saturday.
Sergiy Gaidai, governor of Luhansk province, told national television on Friday that Ukrainian troops had retaken 20% of the territory they had lost in Sievierodonetsk.
It was “not realistic” that the city would fall in the next two weeks even though Russian reinforcements were being deployed, he said.
“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,” said Gaidai.
His claim of Ukrainian advances could not immediately be verified. Reuters reached Sievierodonetsk on Thursday and was able to verify that Ukrainians still held part of the city.
Ukraine’s military said on Saturday Russia had reinforced its troops and had used artillery to conduct “assault operations” in the city. But it said Russian forces had retreated after failed attempts to advance in the nearby town of Bakhmut and cut off access to Sievierodonetsk.
Gaidai said in a social media post that four people were killed in Russian attacks in the region on Saturday, including a mother and a child.
In Ukraine’s southern Odesa region on Saturday morning, a missile hit an agricultural storage unit, wounding two people, the regional administration’s spokesman wrote on Telegram.
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