Russian forces are attempting to seize Severodonetsk, one of the largest Ukrainian-controlled cities in the east. If Russia takes the city, it would occupy nearly all of Luhansk, a major part of the Donbas region. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Moscow’s combat power is at “maximum” strength in its push to capture the area.
Severodonetsk: “Most” of this besieged city is controlled by Russian forces, Serhiy Hadai, the head of the region’s military administration, said in an update on Telegram — up from around half previously — although he said the city is “not surrounded.” The city’s critical infrastructure has been destroyed, and the majority of its houses are damaged — around 60 percent of those irreparably, Hadai said. It is “impossible” to get humanitarian aid in, or people out, because of the Russian shelling, he said.
Donbas region: Russia must capture the Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk and a key road linking the cities of Dnipro and Donetsk to achieve its probable goal of seizing the entirety of the eastern Ukrainian provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk, the British Defense Ministry said in an intelligence update Tuesday. Severodonetsk is about 45 miles northeast of Kramatorsk.
Kharkiv region: Photos showed buses evacuating people on Monday from the town of Kupiansk, on the outskirts of Kharkiv. Reuters reported the town was under the control of Russian troops. Kremlin forces have been prevented from seizing Ukraine’s second-largest city, but they occupy about one-third of the wider Kharkiv region, according to the regional military administrator.
Kherson region: Ukrainian and Russian forces are jostling for control of some parts of this southern area, where Ukraine is aiming to disrupt the Russian front line, according to the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank. The Ukrainian counterattacks are limited in scope, however, and the institute’s analysts don’t think they’re in a position take back the city of Kherson, which fell under Russian occupation in the early days of the war. A local separatist leader said the port city had started shipping grain to Moscow — amid a Russian blockade of Ukrainian grain exports elsewhere.
Amy Cheng, Andrew Jeong and Morgan Coates contributed to this report.
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