Heavy fighting continues in the eastern city of Severodonetsk, with the situation "changing every hour," according to Ukrainian officials.
Oleksandr Striuk, the head of the city's military administration, said "there are enough [Ukrainian] forces and means to recapture the city. There are fierce battles and street fights."
Striuk said Russian forces had a substantial numerical advantage. "They tried to attack the city, and it is happening now. They are throwing away more and more human resources, which of course complicates the situation," the official said.
"Now Severodonetsk is being leveled, because they can't capture it in one to two days. The city is being destroyed. It is impossible to say about the preservation of infrastructure because even before the acute phase of the attack on the city and its assault, the infrastructure was almost destroyed. Both gas and water supply will need almost complete reconstruction," he added.
The highway from the west along which supplies for the Ukrainian front lines travel is under increasing attack from Russian artillery, with Russian units getting closer to it. Striuk said that it "remains under the control of the Armed Forces, but it is still dangerous to move as enemy artillery is reaching [it.]".
The General Staff said that Ukrainian units were thwarting the enemy's attempts to take control of the highway.
The Russians have intensified artillery attacks on areas north of the city of Sloviansk and are shelling Ukrainian positions on the southern side of the Siverskiy Donets river. Russian forces appear to be close to the town of Sviatohirsk on the north side of the river — the site of a historic Russian Orthodox monastery. But there is no evidence that they have been able to cross the river in this area.