Amid escalating Russian advances, Ukrainian forces in Severodonetsk have been asked to retreat from the key city in the eastern Luhansk region where fierce battles are currently raging, a top leader said on Friday.
For several weeks now, Russian forces have nearly encircled Severodonetsk and its twin city Lysychansk.Capturing the two cities would give Moscow control of the entire Luhansk region, much of which is already controlled by Russian-backed separatists.
They are the last remaining Ukrainian positions in Luhansk.
Speaking to local media on Friday, Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Haidai said: “Remaining in positions that have been relentlessly shelled for months just doesn’t make sense.
“They have received orders to retreat to new positions… and from there continue their operations.”