Ukrainian troops are resisting a heavy Russian offensive in and around the city of Severodonetsk in the Luhansk region, despite continued shelling from several directions, according to the Ukrainian military.
The General Staff said on Tuesday that "shelling of units of our troops from artillery of various calibers continues."
Russia aiming for full control: The Russians were also carrying out airstrikes in several areas south of Severodonesk, and "the enemy does not stop the assault in order to establish full control over the city," the General Staff said.
Location of fighting: Ukrainian resistance in Severodonetsk is mainly from the large Azot chemical plant on the western edge of the city, where several hundred civilians are also sheltering.
"Fierce fighting continues in the Severodonetsk industrial zone. The Russians hit the building of the First Entrance of Azot, fired on the territory of the brick factory, and opened fire near three bridges," said Serhii Hayday, head of the Luhansk regional military administration.
Russian reports have suggested that resistance is ebbing at the Azot plant. CNN cannot independently verify the situation in the area.
Heavy shelling: Hayday said on Ukrainian television that Russian forces had tried to carry out offensive operations on Monday under cover of heavy shelling.
"There is no electricity, no water, no gas [in Severodonetsk]," he said. "Doctors remained in one of the buildings of the medical campus ... We cannot carry out the delivery of humanitarian cargoes, because there are military operations in the active phase."
Civilians at Azot: Hayday said there are about 568 people at Azot, "who flatly refused to evacuate."
"We even made videos, talked to people on video — they refuse to leave. Basically, these are employees of the enterprise and their families — a little more than 100 employees with their families. They still have water, food, and the simplest medical supplies ...They have supplies for several weeks."
In neighboring Lysychansk: A short distance to the south, the Ukrainian General Staff said, "Our soldiers are successfully resisting the assaults in the areas of Syrotyne and Bila Hora," two settlements near Lysychansk.
The Russians are trying to close in on Lysychansk and cut off remaining Ukrainian forces in Severodonetsk to complete the seizure of Luhansk.
Hayday said Tuesday that Lysychansk was being heavily shelled. "More than 10 high-rise buildings, private houses and a police station building were destroyed," he said.