Weeks of intense fighting have taken a devastating toll on the eastern Ukrainian cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday.
They are both "dead cities," Zelensky declared. Ukrainian forces are outnumbered by Russian troops in Sievierodonetsk, where battles are taking place from street to street amid heavy shelling. Russia is aiming to capture Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk so it can have control over the entire Luhansk region.
Zelensky visited Lysychansk on Sunday, and resident Oleksandr Lyakhovets told Agence France-Presse that soon after the president left, a Russian missile hit his apartment building. "They shoot here endlessly," Lyakhovets said, adding, "It's a horror show."
The United Kingdom on Monday said that for the first time, it will send Ukraine long-range missile systems. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said if a Western country provides Ukraine with long-range weapons, he will consider that a deliberate attempt to make the war last longer, and Russia will expand its list of Ukrainian targets.