Russians intensify attacks in the Luhansk and Donbas regions as heavy shelling continues at the city of Severodonetsk. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says this is a “very difficult moment” for Donbas.
As Russian troops push a coordinated offensive in the Luhansk region, Serhiy Hayday, the head of Luhansk’s regional military administration, stated on Saturday that the crucial eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk was “not cut off.” According to Hayday, a significant Russian bombardment is taking place in Severodonetsk, an industrial city in Luhansk that is the last major stronghold of Ukrainian sovereignty. While Russian troops attack from numerous directions, Ukrainian forces are struggling to prevent an apparent attempt by Russian forces to encircle the defenders of Severodonetsk.
According to Russian official media, the Russian-occupied region of Kherson has closed its borders to adjacent Ukrainian areas. The border crossings between Kherson and the Ukrainian regions of Mykolaiv and Dnipropetrovsk have been closed, according to Kirill Stremousov, the deputy head of the Russian-installed administration in Kherson. However, travel from Kherson to Crimea or the Russian-controlled areas of Zaporizhzhia is still possible.
Russia is mobilizing railway brigades with special machinery to repair damaged railway lines within northern Ukraine, according to Ukraine’s military. The railway connecting Russia to the Kharkiv region and south to Izium is a vital supply line for Russia’s offensive.
Officials from the US Defense Department said they were “mindful and aware” of Ukraine’s request for advanced, multiple-launch rocket systems, but no decisions had been made. According to CNN, the Biden administration is planning to provide MLRS equipment to Ukraine as part of a bigger package of military and security support that might be disclosed as soon as next week.