Russia has full control of Severodonetsk

Russian forces are now in control of the battered city of Severodonetsk in eastern Ukraine, its mayor says.

"The Russians have fully occupied Severodonetsk, our military has retreated to more prepared positions," Oleksandr Stryuk told Ukrainian TV.

Weeks of heavy Russian shelling have reduced the city mostly to ruins.

Many civilians have been sheltering at the vast Azot chemical plant, but Mr Stryuk said the only way out now was via Russian-held territory.

Pro-Russian rebels allied with the Russian army say they have moved into parts of Lysychansk, the city facing Severodonetsk across the Siversky Donets river. But Ukrainian officials have not confirmed that.

The city, once home some 100,000 people, has seen bitter street fighting and most of its residents have fled.

Taking the city means Russia now controls nearly all of Luhansk region and much of neighbouring Donetsk - the two regions that form the industrial Donbas.

Russia launched a barrage of missiles at targets in the north and west of Ukraine overnight and Saturday.

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