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According to Ukrainian officials, Russian forces have taken control of two more settlements near the strategic city of Lisichansk to capture the remainder of the Luhansk region.

Shrinking Area: The pockets of territory protected by Ukrainian forces where the Luhansk and Donetsk meet have shrunk further as Russian attacks continue on three sides.

Loskutievka and Rai-Aleksandrivka were occupied by the enemy since yesterday,” Serhi Heyde, the head of the military administration of the Luhansk region, said on Thursday.

Both villages are located to the south-west of Lysychansk and are within 8 kilometers (5 mi) of the main highway connecting Lysychansk with the West.

Russian offensive: In its operational update for Thursday, the General Staff indicated that the Russian focus was now on capturing the highway.

It stated that the Russians were “trying to seize key heights in the area of ​​Berestov in order to establish control over the Bakhmut-Lishchensk highway” and brought in an additional tactical battalion group.

In neighboring Severodonetsk: Heyde said Ukraine continues to “stop the Russians” but is “destroying occupied industrial facilities.”

“The Russian military is ‘liberating’ Severodnetsk from life and jobs,” he said.

Missiles and Firepower: Heyde said Lisichansk was shelled several times on Wednesday, with several settlements around two cities that were hit by air and missile attacks. Despite the shelling, some civilians were evacuated from Lisichansk and humanitarian supplies were being brought to the city.

Goal of full control: The Ukrainian military said on Thursday that “the enemy is concentrating its main efforts to establish complete control over the city of Severodnetsk, launching an offensive to encircle our troops near the city of Lisichansk, and blockade the main logistics routes.” Used to be.”

It says that Russia is also preparing to bridge the Siversky Donets River.