Latest news on the Russia-Ukraine war: live updates


Ukrainian forces are at risk of losing control of the eastern region of Luhansk, Western military analysts say, with Russia claiming control of Lyman and his troops closing in on the critical city of Severodonetsk.

In his Saturday evening address, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukrainian troops were holding up but described the situation as “indescribably difficult”.

“The Ukrainian military is facing the most serious challenge it has faced since the isolation of the Azovstal plant in Mariupol and may well suffer a significant tactical defeat in the coming days if Severodonetsk falls,” the official said. Institute for the Study of War. tank, said in its latest assessment. Such an outcome is “by no means certain”, he added, noting that Russia’s onslaught could stall again.

Unlike the initial phase of the war, when Russian troops were spread across a broad front – posing major logistical challenges – they concentrated their firepower in a smaller area, bombarding it with “devastating barrages” of enemy fire. ‘Firearms and Artillery’, Mick Ryan, a retired Australian Army Major General who studied the Russian invasion, wrote in an analysis on Twitter. They moved slowly to ensure they did not overrun their supplies, he said, an issue that thwarted their earlier assault on the capital, Kyiv.

Ryan said the Ukrainian high command “will soon have to make a difficult decision regarding the cession of Severodonetsk and the surrounding territory”, rather than risk having several brigades surrounded by Russian forces and lost to the war effort more wide.

Ukrainian forces “suffer serious casualties” in the battle for Severodonetsk, the institute’s analysts said. Although the city is important as the last significant population center of Luhansk not occupied by Russia, its seizure will not be of critical military or economic benefit to Russia “because Russian forces are destroying the city in the assailant and will control its rubble if they capture it,” they said.

Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Haidai said on Saturday that Russian shelling destroyed Severodonetsk’s water, gas and electricity infrastructure, and he repeated a phrase he used earlier this week: ” Severodonetsk is being erased from the face of the earth.”

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