The upcoming deadline is likely to force Russia to step up its efforts to take over Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region, Ukrainian Defense Minister Hana Malyar said on Monday. The most decisive battles for control of the wider Donbass region could take place this week. However, as Russian forces advance into eastern Ukraine, Russia appears to be struggling to consolidate its power over the territories it occupies, according to US based analysts.
Here are updates from all over the country:
Severodonetsk: Fierce fighting erupted on Monday as Russia stepped up its attack on control of the eastern city, where it continues to send troops and equipment. Sergei Haidai, the regional governor of Luhansk, said Russian forces had taken over most of Severodonetsk, with the exception of the Azot chemical plant. Although Haidai noted that Ukrainian troops are not completely surrounded in Severodonetsk, Russia has succeeded in trying to take over the hostile region – especially with the capture of Metolkine, a southeastern suburb of Severodonetsk.
Elsewhere in eastern Ukraine: Russian attacks from the cities of Izyum and Liman to Slavyansk in the Donetsk region seem unsuccessful and are slowly taking off, said the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War in update on monday. According to him, this is a consequence of Russia’s focus on the conquest of Severodonetsk and Lisichansk. Such operations include attempts to ban Ukrainian communication lines on the T1302 Bakhmut-Lisichansk highway, the think tank added.
Kharkiv: The region has come under heavy bombardment, leaving at least three dead on Monday, Kharkov Governor Oleg Sinehubov said. In Kharkov, Ukrainian troops launching counter-offensive operations have almost pushed to the region’s border with Russia, but they still have a section of territory to return from Russian control, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.
Southern Ukraine: Rocket and artillery strikes hit parts of Kherson, Zaporizhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv and Odesa districts on Monday. According to the Institute for the Study of War, Russian forces are concentrating equipment in Zaporozhye in preparation for Ukrainian counter-offensive operations.