As many as 700 men Ukrainian soldiers are dying or being wounded every day fighting against Russian Federation (RF) forces, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in comments widely reported in Wednesday news reports.

Casualties are heaviest in the Donbas region, but Ukraine Armed Forces (UAF) units also are talking continuous losses in the northern Kharkiv and southern Mykolaiv-Kherson regions, Zelensky said, in a May 31 evening television statement.

Between 60 and 100 Ukrainian soldiers are being killed in combat, and “around 500” are injured every twenty-four hours, Zelensky said. Since the Russian Federation (RF) Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, official Kyiv has kept numbers of military dead and wounded secret, excepting rare Presidential statements.

Zelensky’s May 31 announcement was only the third time the Ukrainian leader made casualty numbers public.


News agencies and official sources on Thursday confirmed Severodonetsk was the epicenter of fighting, with the RF using artillery and air strikes followed up with infantry to advance block-by-block.

The Channel 5 television channel showed images of badly-damaged homes and businesses in Severodonetsk’s central district. According to news report, power and water supplies were completely shut off, and civilian evacuation was impossible due to shelling and firefights.

Sources conflicted on how much of Severodonetsk was controlled by the sides. According to a statement by Serhiy Haidai, head of the Luhansk regional defense command, RF forces had taken half of the city and house-to-house fighting was in progress elsewhere.

According to journalist Oleksandr Tsaplienko, citing local sources, 70 percent of Severodonetsk was in RF hands. UAF units had pulled back to prepared positions and had repelled RF attempts to advance further, he said.

The pro-Russia news platform Readovka, citing an on-the-ground reporter, said that much of Severodonetsk was in RF hands but UAF defenses in the neighboring town Lysychansk, which is positioned on commanding terrain overlooking Severodonetsk, were intact and not under assault.


Fighting also was reported around an arc of villages to the north and south of Severodonetsk, including Lyman, Hirsky, Zolote, Ustinivka and Kamyshevakha.

A statement from the Zaporizhia regional defense command said that RF artillery has been bombarding the village Komishuvakha for two days without a letup, and that local residents effectively have been forced to remain in cellars continuously.

In the south, a limited Ukrainian counteroffensive appeared to be continuing, with RF forces according to Joint Command South (JCS) statement blowing up bridges across the Ingulets River to block advancing UAF units at the villages Davidiv Brid and Velika Oleksandrivka, to the north-east of Mykolaiv.

Ukrainian social media showed images of heavily-armed UAF infantry riding aboard tracked BMP armored personnel carriers driving at pace into Davydiv Brid, against no apparent resistance.

RF state-controlled media confirmed the Davydiv Brid bridge demolition, and reported five “formations” of UAF infantry on wheeled BTR armored personnel carriers were operating in the area.

The Kremlin-favoring Readovka, in a rare step back from its regular claims of RF military superiority, said elements of the UAF 63rd Motorized Infantry Brigade was advancing, and called the situation around the town “concerning, but not grounds for panic.”



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