Fierce fighting continues around the cities of Severodonetsk and Lisichansk in the eastern Ukrainian Luhansk region, much of which is already under the control of the Russian armed forces and the separatists they support, BTA reports.

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The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced today that Ukrainian positions along the entire front line are under artillery fire.

Russian forces have tried unsuccessfully to storm villages north, east and south of Severodonetsk.

Heavy fighting continues for settlements between Lisichansk and the town of Bakhmut, in the Donetsk region to the south, the communiqué said.

Reports of heavy fighting and new casualties in Donbass

The Russian army has been trying for days to cut off Ukrainian troops around Severodonetsk and Lisichansk from their supply lines in the Donetsk region.

Yesterday, Russian forces deliberately destroyed a bridge between the two twin cities over the Seversky Donets River with 240-millimeter mortars, Ukrainian sources said.

They also reported artillery shelling and bombing in the Donetsk region.

The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation announced that in the last 24 hours nearly 40 targets, including five arms depots, in Donbass were hit, DPA and Reuters reported.

The Russian army has hit rockets and artillery with a total of more than 580 targets across Ukraine, Major General Igor Konashenkov said in his regular summary.

The spokesman of the Russian Ministry of Defense noted that in addition to Donbass, targets were hit in the southern Ukrainian Nikolaev region. 

Today, the Parliament of Ukraine extended the martial law and the general mobilization in the country by three months - until August 23, AFP reported.

President Volodymyr Zelensky signed the two decrees on February 24, the day the Russian invasion began.

Since then, martial law and general mobilization, initially introduced for one month each, have been extended twice for a similar period, AFP recalls.

The new extension is for three months.

Amid fierce fighting in the Donbas, Mikhail Podoliak, an adviser to Zelensky and a member of the Ukrainian delegation to the talks with Russia, ruled out a ceasefire and territorial concessions yesterday, Reuters reported.

"The war will not stop," (if Ukraine gives in and accepts Russian terms).

It will simply be paused for a while, "Podoliak said. He added that after that, Russian forces" will launch a new offensive, even more bloody and large-scale. "

The Russian invasion of Ukraine

Russia-Ukraine war