Russian forces are “advancing into the middle of the city” of Severodonetsk in northeast Ukraine, the head of the Luhansk regional military administration Serhiy Hayday said on Monday.
Two people were killed and five others wounded in attacks on Sunday, and 50 houses were destroyed, Hayday said.
The Russians have “consolidated their hold on the northeastern and southeastern outskirts of the city” and are “trying to encircle Severodonetsk and Lysychansk,” Hayday said.
Currently the fighting is very fierce,” Hayday added. “The situation is still very difficult.”
There is no internet connection in the city, apart from limited access to Starlink, Hayday said.
The neighboring city of Lysychansk remains under the control of Ukraine, Hayday added. The road to Bakhmut to the southwest of Lysychansk is “not blocked, but it is under fire” so it is “very dangerous to use it,” he said.
He added that humanitarian aid is arriving “almost every day,” and his men are trying to evacuate people when they can.
Separately, the Luhansk Military Administration said in a Telegram post on Monday that "heavy battles for Severodonetsk and Lysychansk [are underway]."
"The Russians are transporting ammunition and equipment in large quantities to the Severodonetsk area," the military statement said.
Some context: On Sunday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told French broadcaster TFI that the "liberation" of Ukraine's Donbas region is an "absolute priority" for Moscow.