Russian forces have been able to make small gains in the Lysychansk area, taking parts of an oil refinery, located on the outskirts of the city, the head of the Luhansk region military administration, Serhii Hayday, said on Friday.
“The occupiers are assaulting the Lysychansk oil refinery, holding the northwestern and southeastern parts of the plant,” Hayday said in a Telegram post.
Big picture: The Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff said: "[Russia] is concentrating its main efforts on encircling our troops in the Lysychansk area from the south and west, establishing complete control over the Luhansk region.”
Hayday made a similar analysis.
“The enemy tries in vain to surround the Ukrainian military, attacking Lysychansk from the south and west,” he said.
Russian forces have also made a renewed assault on the Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway, the main supply line into the city, but were repelled by Ukrainian forces, Hayday added.
Inside the city: The situation remains dire for the nearly 15,000 residents that remain in Lysychansk.
“The residents of Lysychansk spent almost 24 hours in basements and houses. The shelling of the city is very intense,” Hayday said. “Many residential houses and industrial facilities caught fire.”
Elsewhere in eastern Ukraine, the Russian military also intensified the shelling of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, according to the Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff.