After weeks of resistance, Ukrainian troops have pulled back from the city of Rubizhne in Luhansk region, according to multiple reports from the area.
Video from the city shows intense fighting in its industrial outskirts on Thursday.
A bridge linking Rubizhne with neighboring Severodonetsk has been destroyed, suggesting the Ukrainians are taking up new defensive lines.
There has been no official confirmation from the Ukrainian General Staff that Ukrainian troops have left the outskirts of Rubizhne.
The General Staff reported on Friday only that "the enemy continues to focus its efforts on establishing full control over the settlement of Rubizhne," a description repeated by the regional military administration.
Ukrainian officials reported earlier on Thursday that a nearby town had fallen to advancing Russian forces. And in its latest analysis, the Institute for the Study of War said that "Russian forces likely control almost all of Rubizhne as of May 12, and have likely seized the town of Voevodivka, north of Severdonetsk."
Ukrainian troops continue to defend Severodonetsk, which has been pummelled by Russian shelling and air attacks for weeks. Some 15,000 civilians are still thought to be in Severodonetsk, out of a pre-war population of 100,000. The city is more than 70% destroyed according to the local government.
"Evacuation is suspended because it is impossible to drive on a road that is constantly being shelled. As soon as the situation stabilizes, the evacuation will resume," said the head of the Severodonetsk Military-Civil Administration Oleksandr Stryuk on Thursday.