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Ukraine says troops hold out in Sievierodonetsk after last bridge destroyed

STORY: Ukraine said on Tuesday (June 14) its forces were still holding out inside Siervierodonetsk after Russia destroyed the last bridge to the city. Marking a potential turning point in one of the war’s bloodiest battles, now the biggest fight in Ukraine. Satellite images released by Maxar Technologies on Tuesday showed the damage to structures around the eastern Ukrainian city collected on Saturday (June 11). Ukraine says more than 500 civilians are trapped inside a chemical factory in an industrial zone of the city, where its forces have resisted weeks of Russian bombardment and assault. The city’s mayor said evacuations were being carried out discretely “every minute when there is a lull and the possibility of transportation”.The National Police of Ukraine on Monday (June 13) released footage of officers evacuating civilians in bomb shelters in what it said was Pryvillia in Luhansk region, just over 12 miles of Siervierodonetsk. Ukraine still holds Lysychansk, the twin city of Sievierodonetsk on higher ground on the opposite bank of the river. But with all the bridges now cut between the two cities, Ukrainian forces acknowledge they could be encircled – just like in Mariupol, a city which fell in May after months of Russian siege. Russia’s separatist proxies said any Ukrainian troops left behind must surrender or die.Both sides claim to have inflicted huge casualties in the fighting over the city. Moscow has committed the bulk of its firepower to delivering one of President Vladimir Puti n’s stated objectives: forcing Kyiv to cede the full territory of two eastern provinces.Local separatist media said Ukrainian artillery struck a market on Monday (June 13) in the Russian-backed Donetsk region. Bigger battles could lie ahead for the wider Ukrainian-held pocket of the Donbas. Beyond the Donbas, Ukrainian officials hope that Russia’s focus on capturing the east will drain its forces from other areas. But on Tuesday (June 14), Russia said it struck an artillery weapons depot in Ukraine’s Chernihiv region, the RIA news agency reported, citing the Russian defence ministry.