The city of Sieverodonetsk has become the center of fighting in eastern Ukraine. President Selenskyj describes the battle as trend-setting. Now the Azot chemical plant has been targeted again.

According to Ukrainian sources, Russian troops in eastern Ukraine are continuing their attacks on residential and industrial areas in the heavily contested city of Sieverodonetsk.

Four people were killed as a result of the shelling of the chemical plant Azot, the governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Hajday, wrote on Thursday in the social network Telegram. According to Ukrainian sources, the facility is used by hundreds of civilians as an air raid shelter. However, there is currently no threat of a comparable encirclement by Russian troops as was the case until recently in the port city of Mariupol.

The accusation that the Ukrainians lured the civilians into the Azot cellars and then mined the area is repeatedly voiced by the Russian and pro-Russian side. There is no evidence for this. Russia already occupies more than 90 percent of the Luhansk Oblast, in which Sieverodonetsk is located.

President Zelenskyj described the battle for Sievjerodonetsk as a landmark for the struggle in the east of the country. “Syeverodonetsk remains the epicenter of the clashes in Donbass,” he said in a video message on Wednesday. The Ukrainian military is inflicting noticeable losses on the enemy there. “This is a very brutal and difficult battle. Perhaps one of the hardest of this war (…) In many ways the fate of our Donbass will be decided there.”

The Russian war of aggression on the neighboring country has now lasted three and a half months. The information provided by the warring parties often cannot be independently verified.