(Reuters) – Ukrainian shelling on Saturday forced Russian troops to suspend the evacuation of people from a chemical plant in Sievierodonetsk, just hours after Moscow’s forces took the city, Tass news agency quoted local police as saying.
Separately, a senior advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said special forces were still in Sievierodonetsk, directing artillery fire against the Russians. The adviser, Oleksiy Arestovych, spoke in a video address.
Russian officials said there could still be several hundred people in the giant Azot plant, where they took shelter as the fighting spread.
Tass cited police working for the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, where Sievierodonetsk is located.
“Our special forces are messing around there, directing our artillery at the enemy. In other words, we cannot say that the troops have been withdrawn completely from Sievierodonetsk,” said Arestovych.
Earlier in the day both Kyiv and Moscow said Ukrainian forces had pulled out of Sievierodonetsk after weeks of brutal fighting that destroyed 90% of the city.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Sandra Maler)