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Russia-Ukraine live updates: Russia now occupies over half of key city in Ukraine’s east

ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation” into neighboring Ukraine began on Feb. 24, with Russian forces invading from Belarus, to the north, and Russia, to the east. Ukrainian troops have offered “stiff resistance,” according to U.S. officials.

The Russian military has since launched a full-scale ground offensive in eastern Ukraine’s disputed Donbas region, capturing the strategic port city of Mariupol and securing a coastal corridor to the Moscow-annexed Crimean Peninsula.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Jun 01, 5:44 am
Russia now occupies over half of key city in Ukraine’s east

Over half of Sieverodonetsk is now likely occupied by Russian forces, including Chechen fighters, the U.K. Ministry of Defense said Wednesday in an intelligence update.

The ministry said fighting intensified in the streets of the key eastern Ukrainian city on Monday and Tuesday, “with Russian forces pushing closer to the town centre.” Sieverodonetsk is located in the war-torn Luhansk Oblast of eastern Ukraine’s disputed Donbas region.

“Russian ground operations remain tightly focused, with the weight of fire power concentrated within a small sector of Luhansk Oblast,” the ministry said.

“Beyond the Donbas, Russia continues to conduct long-range missile strikes against infrastructure across Ukraine,” the ministry added. “The strategically important bridge links Ukraine with Romania and with Ukraine’s ports on the Danube, which have become critical to Ukrainian exports after the blockade of Ukrainian Black Sea ports by Russia.”

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