Latest news on the Russia-Ukraine war: live updates
The defense of the city of Severodonetsk, which is central to the Kremlin’s aim to take over eastern Ukraine, continues despite heavy artillery bombardment and airstrikes. Ukraine continues to have a “clear disadvantage in terms of artillery systems” compared to Russia, according to the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) think tank, despite calls from the country’s leaders for help from Western countries.
Here are the updates from across the country:
Severodonetsk: One of Ukraine’s last strongholds in the Luhansk region, the city was destroyed by intense fighting. But it remains unclear how much of the city’s invaders now control as battles continue over the Azot industrial zone and the Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway. Meanwhile, Russian forces shelled nearby towns that could supply Ukrainian troops.
Elsewhere in the Donbass: “Russia wants to destroy all the cities in Donbass,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday as the fierce fighting continued. “Like Volnovakha, like Mariupol. All these ruins in once happy cities, black traces of fires, craters of explosions – this is all Russia can give to its neighbors, to Europe and to the world. Images collected by US satellite company Maxar Technologies show crater fields and entire city blocks pulverized in Luhansk and Donetsk, where Russian attacks have been concentrated in recent weeks. In Rubizhne, just up the road from Severodonetsk, before and after images show parts of the town reduced to rubble.
Kherson: Ukraine said on Friday Russian forces were strengthening their defenses after its troops launched a successful counterattack against Russian forces around Kherson and regained some of the territory it had previously lost in that southern region. The ISW said this week that Moscow was stepping up operations in part of the region following Ukrainian counterattacks.
Mariupol: The Russian military is struggling to provide basic public services to civilians, according to the UK Ministry of Defence. Residents do not have access to adequate social or medical services in the city, which is at risk of a major cholera outbreak. Cholera cases reported since May are of particular concern as the medical system is believed to be on the verge of collapse due to mismanagement by Russian authorities, according to the ISW.
Reis Thebault and Mary Ilyushina contributed to this report.