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Black smoke and dirt rise above city of Severodonetsk during the battle between Russian and Ukrainian troops in the eastern Ukraine region of Donbas on June 9. (Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images)

Intense fighting is ongoing for control of the eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk, with no major changes reported in the past day, according to Ukrainian officials.

“The situation in Severodonetsk is very tense,” Roman Vlasenko, head of the Severodonetsk district military administration, told Ukrainian national television.

“Fighting continues, street fighting continues. The dynamics are very great. The Russians are heavily using artillery. They have a certain advantage in terms of artillery, in terms of personnel. But they have no real success. They can’t beat the guys out of Severodonetsk.”

Vlasenko said that the Ukrainian military in Severodonetsk was “confident” in their defense.

On Wednesday, the head of the Luhansk regional military administration, Serhiy Hayday, said most of the city was now controlled by Russian forces, although Ukrainians had retained control of Severodonetsk’s industrial zone.

Hayday told Ukrainian television Friday that those fighting for Severodonetsk faced difficulty, “but they clearly understand that they are not threatened by encirclement.

“They clearly hold their positions and understand how things are developing,” he said.

In an address on Thursday night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said “Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, and other cities in Donbas, which the occupiers now consider key targets, are holding on.”

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