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The military situation in Severodonetsk “is consistently difficult,” according to the head of Severodonetsk’s city military administration.

“Our armed forces have consolidated their positions, holding the borders in the city that they have occupied,” Oleksandr Striuk said on national television.

“The fighting does not subside. The orcs are throwing more and more forces; lots of artillery and equipment are concentrated here, assaulting the city. The orcs are trying to advance, we stop them.”

“Our armed forces are doing their best to defend the city,” Striuk said, adding that between 10,000 and 11,000 people remain in the city.

Some background: The battle between Russian and Ukrainian forces for Severodonetsk has intensified over the last week.

Russian artillery, aircraft and helicopters have been occupying the area in an attempt to gain control of the eastern Ukrainian city, according to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Two people were injured after Russian forces shelled a mining college in Lysychansk, which sits on strategic high ground across the Siverskyi Donets River from Severodonetsk, according to Serhiy Hayday, head of the Luhansk Region Military Administration.

Hayday said Russia was using “sabotage and reconnaissance groups” in the village of Bilohorivka, just west of Lysychansk and Severodonetsk. That town also sits on high ground next to the Siverskyi Donets River, and was the site of a massive Ukrainian rout of a Russian assault last month.

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