Ukraine’s forces will retreat from key city as Russia advances east

It was one of two cities still under Ukrainian command in the Luhansk province – which together with neighboring Donetsk makes up the Donbass.

Now the twin city of Lisichansk, around which Kremlin troops have made remarkable gains in recent days, lies between Russia and complete control of half of Ukraine’s industrial heartland.

The street-by-street battle for Sievierodonetsk has become the focus of the conflict in recent weeks, Russia is slowly moving towards its larger goal of taking complete control of the Donbass region.

Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the fight for the city could set the direction for a wider battle for the country’s east.

“It’s a very brutal fight, very hard, probably one of the toughest in this whole war,” Zelensky said in his one-night video address. “Sevierodonetsk remains the epicenter of the encounter in the Donbass,” he said. “By large, that is where the fate of our Donbass is being decided.”

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