The eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk is under near-constant shelling by Russia, as ground forces attempt to take over a key area in the Donbas region.
Severodonetsk is in the Luhansk province, and military officials say if Russia can capture the city, they will have control of Luhansk. Matthew Schmidt, associate professor of national security and political science at the University of New Haven, told The Washington Post that Russian forces are "bludgeoning their way through" Severodonetsk, and "just pounding Ukrainians with artillery."
Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, about 100,000 people lived in Severodonetsk. Regional police are urging civilians still in the city to leave, warning that it isn't safe to be in the area. On Saturday, Russian troops destroyed a bridge that connected Severodonetsk with the city of Lysychansk, making it harder for people to escape.
"If they destroy one more bridge, then the city will be fully cut off, unfortunately," Serhiy Haidai, head of the Ukrainian military administration in Luhansk, said Sunday.