Moscow applies an ‘obvious policy of genocide’ in Donbas

The Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk is the center of fierce fighting in the east of the country.

Mayor Oleksandr Stryuk said the city was holding on despite a Russian reconnaissance and sabotage group breaking into a hotel in the city.

Stryuk said at least 1,500 people had been killed in Sievierodonetsk and between 12,000 and 13,000 remained in the city, where 60 percent of residential buildings had been destroyed.

Sievierodonetsk is the only part of the Luhansk region of the Donbas under the control of the Ukrainian government, and Russian forces have been trying to isolate it from the rest of the Ukrainian-controlled territory.

Stryuk said the main highway between the neighboring city of Lysychansk and Bakhmut to the southwest remained open, but travel is dangerous.

He said only 12 people were able to be evacuated on Thursday.

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