Russian and separatist troops control the Svetlodarsk power plant

Russian troops and Russian-speaking separatist fighters from Donetsk and Luhansk occupied a thermoelectric power plant in the Ukrainian city of Svetlodarsk this Tuesday, located in the Donbas region, east of Donetsk province.

Speaking to Russian news agency TASS, Igor Zajarevich, a municipal official in the neighboring town of Debaltsevo, pointed out that the plant was “one of the largest in Europe” and admitted that “it will take time to restore order”.

Zajarevich warned that Russian officials sent to take control of the plant would encounter “all kinds of surprises” at the site, including the bodies of Ukrainian soldiers inside the infrastructure.

Since the start of the war, Russian forces have concentrated part of their efforts on controlling Ukraine’s power plants.

Azovstal in Mariupol and Azot plants in Severodonetsk became battlegrounds with Ukrainian troops, while Russian forces and local militias encircled these strategic locations.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 and the military offensive has already killed more than 5,100 civilians, according to the UN, which warns that the true number could be much higher. More than 16 million people have been displaced by the Russian military offensive, with more than 5.9 million of them fleeing the country, according to a recent UN report.

The Russian invasion was generally condemned by the international community, which responded by sending arms to Ukraine and strengthening economic and political sanctions on Moscow.

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