Control over the city of Kreminna has been "lost," according to Serhii Haidai, the head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration, as Russian forces try to break Ukrainian resistance in the country's east.
"At the moment, control over the city of Kreminna is lost" and heavy fighting continues, Haidai said on Telegram.
As residents tried to flee in their own vehicles, Russian forces opened fire on a car carrying civilians, said Haidai.
"Four people died. One seriously injured person is still at the scene," he said.
"Doctors cannot reach her due to endless shelling."
Russian forces have been trying to advance toward the borders of both Luhansk and Donetsk in the Donbas region. Russia's focus has shifted to the east since its failure to gain territory around the capital Kyiv, and other parts of the center and north of the country.
Earlier Monday, Russian forces entered the town with "a huge amount of equipment," said Haidai, claiming that "the offensive has begun."