Live Updates: Russia’s War in Ukraine

Smoke rises from Severodonetsk, Ukraine on June 5. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images)

Heavy fighting continues in the eastern city of Severodonetsk, with the situation “changing hourly”, according to Ukrainian officials.

Oleksandr Striuk, the head of the city’s military administration, said “there are enough [Ukrainian] forces and means to retake 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. They are wasting more and more human resources, which of course complicates the situation,” the official said.

“Now Severodonetsk is being razed to the ground, because they cannot capture it in one or two days. The city is being destroyed. It is impossible to comment on the preservation of infrastructure because even before the acute phase of the attack on the city and its assault, the infrastructure was almost destroyed. The gas and water supply will have to be rebuilt almost completely,” he added.

The highway coming from the west, along which the supplies of the Ukrainian front lines circulate, is increasingly attacked by Russian artillery, the Russian units closing in on it. Striuk said 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 enemy 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 south bank of the Siverskiy Donets River. Russian forces appear to be close to the town of Sviatohirsk on the north bank of the river, the site of a historic Russian Orthodox monastery. But there is no evidence that they were able to cross the river in this area.

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