Pro-Russia Militia Says It's Knocking Ukrainian Forces Out of Severodonetsk Industrial Zone

Images purport to show how soldiers from the so-called Luhansk People's Republic are "knocking" Ukrainian forces out of an industrial zone in the besieged eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk.

The images appear to show heavy fighting in the city, with smoke billowing from what appears to be a factory. Other images show soldiers taking shelter as explosions and gunfire can be heard in the background.

An unnamed member of the pro-Russian militia of the separatist Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) in eastern Ukraine can be heard saying in the footage, which was obtained from the LPR militia Monday evening: "The fighting for Severodonetsk continues. Ukrainian 'Nazis,' who have settled in the industrial zone of the city, are gradually losing their positions and retreating.

"Ukrainian artillery covers the flight of the punishers, mercilessly striking at the already liberated residential part of the city."

Severodonetsk industrial zone fighting
Images purport to show how soldiers from the Luhansk People's Republic are "knocking" Ukrainian forces out of an industrial zone in the besieged eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk. @millnr/Zenger

Russian and pro-Russian forces regularly refer to Ukrainian forces as "Nazis" in reference to Russia's stated aim to "denazify" Ukraine, one of its justifications for the invasion.

The unnamed spokesperson with the militia continues: "The People's Militia unit and the soldiers of the Akhmat special forces regiment are systematically knocking the enemy out of the industrial zone.

"They have to work carefully, because there are tanks with chemicals at the Azot plant, damage to which can be fatal.

"The defense of the Ukrainian militants crumbles, the enemy, under the onslaught of the People's Militia and Chechen special forces, leaves their positions and retreats to Lisichansk."

Zenger News not been able to independently verify the footage or the claims made by the LPR.

It was reported two days ago that Russian shelling had caused a fire at the Azot chemical plant, in which an unknown number of civilians are said to have taken shelter, during what has been described as some of the most intense bombardments of the war, according to the Ukrainian Governor of the Luhansk Oblast region, Serhiy Haidai.

According to reports, there are ongoing attempts to set up a civilian corridor out of the encircled city of Severodonetsk. It isn't clear if Russia has halted its attacks in the key eastern city to allow for evacuation.

The Russian army has said that evacuated civilians will be transported to separatist-controlled areas of the Luhansk Oblast region, but previous humanitarian corridor attempts have struggled to stay open.

Russian troops invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin is still calling a "special military operation." June 15 marks the 112th day of the campaign.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between February 24 and June 14, Russia had lost 32,500 personnel, 1,434 tanks, 3,503 armored fighting vehicles, 721 artillery systems, 229 multiple launch rocket systems, 97 anti-aircraft systems, 213 warplanes, 179 helicopters, 2,473 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, 13 warships/boats, 588 drones, 54 pieces of special equipment and 125 cruise missiles.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that Ukraine is suffering "painful losses" in its eastern Donbas region. He stressed that Ukraine needs modern anti-missile weapons to defend its territory. The United Kingdom and the United States have said they are sending long-range missile systems to Ukraine, but Ukrainian officials have said that weapons are not arriving fast enough. An adviser to Zelensky, Mykhailo Podolyak, has said that to end the war, they need "1,000 howitzers caliber 155 mm; 300 MLRS; 500 tanks; 2000 armored vehicles; 1,000 drones."

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned of more attacks in Ukraine if the West sends long-range weapons.

Also, NATO ministers are in Brussels for talks as Russia's military advances in the Donbas region prompt pleas from Ukrainian officials for more Western weapons.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.