Taghrib News Agency (TNA) 25 Jun 2022 - 15:26 http://www.taghribnews.com/en/news/554884/ukrainian-forces-retreat-from-key-city-as-russians-advance-in-east -------------------------------------------------- Title : Ukrainian forces retreat from key city as Russians advance in east -------------------------------------------------- Ukrainian forces have been ordered to withdraw from the key city of Severodonetsk following weeks of fierce fighting as Russian forces make advancement. Text : Officials said there isvery little left to defendin the bombed-out eastern city, wherehundreds of civilians reportedly remain trapped in a chemical plant. The retreat, they said, is aimed atlimiting morecasualties and regroup, but the move will be seen by Russia as asignificant victory. South of Sievierodonetsk, Ukrainian soldiers also withdrewfrom the towns of Hirske and Zolote in the face of overwhelmingRussian forces,an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky said. The Pentagonsought to playdown the importance of theretreat,emphasizing that the cost to Russia "for this very small, very incremental gain". "What (the Ukrainian troops) are doing is putting themselves in a position where they can better defend themselves," AFP quoted an unnamed senior Pentagon official as saying. The eastern industrial hub of Severodonetsk has been the scene of weeks of street battles as outgunned Ukrainians put up a stubborn defense, and as Russians aim to consolidate power throughout the Donbas. But Serhiy Haiday, governor of the Lugansk region that includes Severodonetsk, said Friday that Ukrainian military forces in the city had received the order to withdraw. The latest Russian advances appeared to bring Moscow closerto taking full control of Luhansk, one of President VladimirPutin s objectives. Theysetthe stage for Lysychansk to become the next main focus.According to some estimates, Russia now controls some 20 percent of Ukrainian territory. As the biggestland conflict in Europe since World War Two entered its fifthmonth,Russian missiles on Saturday rained downacross Ukraine, hitting military facilities in thewest and the north as well as a southern city. Artillery and airstrikes also pounded the twin cities ofSievierodonetsk and Lysychansk. "48 cruise missiles. At night. Throughout whole Ukraine,"Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said onTwitter. "Russia is still trying to intimidate Ukraine, causepanic and make people be afraid." Vitaly Kiselev, an official in the Interior Ministry of theseparatist Luhansk People s Republictold Russia s TASS news agency that it would take another week and a half to secure full control of Lysychansk. The governor of Lviv region in western Ukrainesaid six missiles werefired from the Black Sea at the Yavoriv base near the borderwith Poland. Four hit the target but two were destroyed. Vitaliy Bunechko, governor of the Zhytomyr region in thenorth of the country, said strikes on a military target killedat least one soldier. "Nearly 30 missiles were launched at one militaryinfrastructure facility very near to the city of Zhytomyr," saidBunechko, adding that nearly 10 missiles had been interceptedand destroyed. In the south, the mayor of Mykolaiv nearthe Black Seasaid five cruise missiles hit the city and nearbyareas on Saturday. Ukraine on Friday again pressed for more arms, with its topgeneral, Valeriy Zaluzhniy, telling his UScounterpart in aphone call that Kiev needed "fire parity" with Moscow tostabilize the situation in Luhansk. The war has had a massive impact on the global economy andEuropean security arrangements, driving up gas, oil and foodprices. The West has imposed an unprecedented package of sanctionson Russia, its top companies and its business and politicalelite. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Saturday thathe feared Ukraine could face pressure to agree a peace deal withRussia. Johnson said the consequences of Putin getting his wayin Ukraine would be dangerous to international security and along-term economic disaster.