The capture of Syevyerodonetsk, once home to over 100,000 people, was a slow and grinding victory for Russian forces. As outgunned Ukrainians troops engaged in street fighting, the Russian side unleashed artillery barrages that devastated the city. Residents who had nowhere else to go are now emerging from the safety of their basements and shelters to find a wasteland of destroyed buildings and shattered infrastructure.
Ukraine described its pullback from Syevyerodonetsk as a "tactical withdrawal" as it repositioned its troops to higher ground in Lysychansk, on the opposite bank of the Siverskyi Donets River. On June 30, a Reuters photographer captured the destruction in Syevyerodonetsk as its residents contemplated a future under Russian occupation.