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Live Updates: Russia’s War in Ukraine

Oleksandr Striuk, head of the civil-military administration of Ukraine’s industrial city of Severodonetsk, said on Saturday that Ukrainian forces were in a “difficult defensive position” as fighting raged on the outskirts of the city.

In remarks on national television, Striuk said some of the heaviest fighting was centered around the Mir hotel on the outskirts of town.

“A real battle can be heard in the area around the main bus station,” he said. “Our military is in a difficult defensive position. The city is constantly shelled. The humanitarian headquarters in the city has been virtually grounded today as it is unsafe to move around the city, and the Headquarters work has been suspended.”

Striuk described a dire situation, saying there was no mobile phone communication and electricity had been cut off. His comments come just hours after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his late night speech on Saturday that the time until Ukraine’s liberation is “shortening” every day, and that it is “just a matter of long” before Ukraine took back Russian gains.

“We provided water to the city with the help of electricity, pumping stations,” he said. “Available water comes from open wells with generators. There are about six or seven wells in the city. It’s extremely dangerous, as soon as people gather for water, the shelling starts there.”

Striuk, however, expressed some confidence in the city’s ability to hold on with limited supplies delivered by road.

There are still opportunities to reach the city,” he said. “There are opportunities for the delivery of minimum loads. It is extremely difficult, but still possible.

“The evacuation is very dangerous, few people, priority to the injured. Only a first level of medical care is available in the city.”

In a statement, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine claimed that the Russian forces had suffered losses and retreated to some positions previously occupied in the direction of Severodonetsk, but added that the Russians continued to carry out reconnaissance of the area to identify and hit items. Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Fedir Venislavskyi, a member of the Ukrainian parliament’s national security, defense and intelligence committee, said the next few days “will be decisive” in the battle for Severodonetsk.

“Our forces pushed the enemy back to the positions they previously held,” he said. “But we have to understand that Russian troops are practically on the outskirts of Severodonetsk.”