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Fierce fighting continues in critical city of Severodonetsk, Ukrainian officials say

Ukrainian forces said late Thursday that the battle for the city of Severodonetsk continues to rage.

“The situation is consistently difficult. Our defenders are holding the line of defense, leveling the line of defense,” Serhiy Hayday, head of Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region military administration, said on national television.

“The fiercest fighting continues in Severodonetsk,” Hayday said. The city has seen intense battles in recent days.

Hayday accused the Russians of using “lies and propaganda” in claiming victory in Severodonetsk.

While “the Russians had already reported that they had taken the city,” the official said, Russian forces had withdrawn some of their units.

Oleksandr Striuk, head of Severodonetsk’s military administration, said on television on Thursday that there is “constant street fighting.”

“The humanitarian situation in the city is critical. The bridge is under fire, so it is impossible to deliver goods. There is no water supply,” Striuk said.

“The Ukrainian Armed Forces controls approximately one-third of the city now,” he added, saying it will be “very difficult to liberate Severodonetsk [if it falls].”

Hayday said there are no direct battles in the neighboring city of Lysychansk, but he accused Russian forces of heavily shelling the area. If Russian troops took control of Lysychansk and Severodonetsk, it would place all of the Luhansk region under Moscow’s control.

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