Russia's despotic President Vladimir Putin has ramped up his invasion of Ukraine, and is now employing a “scorched-earth policy”, according to a top Ukrainian commander.
Petro Kuzyk has been leading the National Guard Rapid Reponse brigade in the fight to defence the embattled city of Severodonetsk.
The area has become Putin's main target of violence in recent weeks, as he attempts to save face in the invasion which has gone on around three months longer than he had originally planned.
Commander Kuzyk told local media that around 500 Russian shells were hitting the city every hour.
He said, in a video interview showing him sitting on the floor, smoking a cigarette while surrounded by supplies: “We have intelligence that huge columns of tanks are moving in the direction of Severodonetsk.
“This tactic has been tested, it does them little good, but thanks to massive shelling, they can move forward — because they are destroying positions, trenches and buildings step by step.
“They did not capture Rubizhne — they wiped it off the face of the earth.
“We are catastrophically short of artillery-systems, accurate, counter-battery systems that destroy enemy artillery from a long distance.
“Here, they still have an advantage in artillery.”
The Eastern city has become the new focus of Putin's troops.
The area is now being dubbed the “new Mariupol”, after Putin's forces levelled that city early on into the invasion.
Commander Kuzyk added: “We do not have enough multiple launch rocket systems that hit the target.
“We need to more or less close the sky — it’s either serious air defence systems, or fighter aircraft. “To give you an idea of the ratio — on our one projectile, they produce an average of 20 to 50.”
“It is wrong to rely solely on the heroism of soldiers – they are heroes anyway, they have surpassed any Nato standards and Nato soldiers cannot be compared to ours.
“But they must at least be protected and supported.”
It is not know how many have been killed in the area yet, as it has been deemed too dangerous for officials to enter.
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