Russian forces “need a win,” Schmidt said. Because they lack officers capable of leading effective offensives against Ukraine, they are trying to get such a victory in Severodonetsk by overwhelming the Ukrainians with firepower. Schmidt said the Russians are “bludgeoning their way through” in a way that could have dire consequences for civilians, as in Mariupol.
“They’re just pounding Ukrainians with artillery,” Schmidt said.
Russian troops are working on “erasing Severodonetsk from the face of the Earth,” including by moving down the city’s streets and firing on buildings, Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Haidai said this weekend. The Washington Post could not independently verify the claims.
“Every day they are trying to break the line of defense,” Haidai said in a Ukrainian media interview that he posted to his Telegram channel Sunday. “Round-the-clock there is shelling, and unfortunately the Russian army chose the scorched earth tactic against the city of Severodonetsk: They are simply systematically destroying the city. Everywhere is being shelled constantly.”