Fighting in Ukraine is concentrated in a small part of the Luhansk region in the east, and Russian forces are approaching the center of Severodonetsk.
“More than half of the city is likely to be now occupied by Russian forces, including Chechen fighters,” the British Defense Ministry wrote on Wednesday.
The head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration of Ukraine, Sergei Gaidai, confirmed to CNN that Russian troops now control most of the city, but said his troops would not be surrounded.
“We are in constant contact,” he said. “There is an opportunity to maneuver, so the military is now calmly defending the positions they currently hold. 90% of all houses in the city are damaged at this stage. Of these, 60% are almost impossible to recover. And all the critical infrastructure is completely destroyed. “
If the Russians take Severodonetsk, the nearest Lysychansk will be the only significant city of Luhansk that will remain under Ukrainian control.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is focusing on the eastern region of Donbass after the embarrassing losses near Kyiv, the capital, earlier in the February 24 invasion.
However, British officials said that outside the Donbass, Russia “continues to launch long-range missile strikes on infrastructure throughout Ukraine.”