Zelenskyy: Russian bombardment has turned Ukraine’s Donbas into ‘hell’

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World News

May 20, 2022 - 5:19 PM

An aerial view of damaged residential buildings and the Azovstal steel plant in the background in the port city of Mariupol, Ukraine, on May 18, 2022, amid the ongoing Russian military action. (Andrey Borodulin/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

KYIV, Ukraine — With its grip tightened along the southern coast, Russia redoubled its assault on Ukraine’s Donbas region Friday, turning parts of the country’s eastern industrial heartland into “hell,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

At least a dozen people were killed and scores of homes destroyed in the area of Severodonetsk, regional Gov. Serhiy Haidai said on social media, an assertion that could not be independently verified. Severodonetsk is the easternmost point of the Donbas still in Ukrainian hands after 12 weeks of the current war and a longer fight in the region, dating back to 2014, between pro-Kyiv forces and Moscow-backed secessionists.

The nearby city of Lysychansk also came under sustained fire, the Ukrainian military’s General Staff said, adding that its troops had repelled a series of attacks in the Donbas over the last 24 hours, destroying 14 armored vehicles and shooting down a Russian drone.

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