Russia-Ukraine war live updates: Russia intensifies push to seize Luhansk

There is constant, bloody fighting in and around a key eastern city, as Russia fights to surround the Ukrainian troops there. In the northeast, a barrage of strikes on civilians means a rising death toll, with local leaders projecting prolonged conflict.

Here are more updates from across the country:

Severodonetsk: “Hellish battles” are ongoing in Severodonetsk, where Russia has been eyeing control, Luhansk governor Serhiy Haidai said Wednesday. The mayor of Severodonetsk says up to 8,000 people remain in his city. The British Defense Ministry said Wednesday that Russia is pushing toward enveloping the city from the north via Izyum and the south via Popasna.

Lysychansk: The city of Lysychansk is “constantly suffering from enemy fire,” Luhansk’s Haidai said on Telegram. The Washington-based Institute for the Study of War said Russian forces had advanced toward the city — among the few Ukrainian toeholds in Luhansk — from the south, calling the advance a “clear setback” for Ukraine. Russia will likely reach Lysychansk in the coming days, the institute forecast, and the city is bracing itself.

Kharkiv: Heavy shelling continued on Wednesday across Kharkiv oblast, the northeastern province that borders Donbas, Oleg Synegubov, the regional governor, said. At least 10 civilians were killed in strikes on three villages and towns, Synegubov said, and another 10 were wounded. Local leaders expect a prolonged fight with Moscow’s troops here, as they battle to keep Ukrainian forces from advancing closer to the Russian border.

Southeastern Ukraine: Petro Andryushchenko, an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, said large convoys of Russian military equipment were traveling toward Berdyansk and Polohy in Ukraine’s southeast Zaporizhzhia region.

The Black Sea: Ukraine’s military claimed that it launched airstrikes Tuesday on Russian-occupied Snake Island in the Black Sea, saying it inflicted “significant losses.” The Russian military said its air defenses “destroyed all enemy weapons” as Ukraine made “another crazy attempt” to claim the island. Satellite images released by U.S. firm Maxar Technologies appeared to strengthen Ukraine’s claims.

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