A local official said Friday that Ukrainian forces will retreat from a key eastern city after weeks of bombardment and battles with invading Russian forces.
Regional governor Serhiy Haidai previously said troops defending Sievierodonetsk would fight for every inch. They had been pinned back to a factory on the edge of the city and battered by Russian artillery.
He conceded that the battle was lost and said that the country's troops would have to pull back.
He wrote in a post on the messaging app Telegram that we will have to withdraw our servicemen from Sievierodonetsk because it makes no sense to be in broken positions. The number of dead is growing. Sievierodonetsk has been the focal point of the war for weeks after Russia switched its focus to making gains in the east of the country, and Ukraine suffered heavy losses in its desperate attempts to hold out. Under threat of encirclement, its troops will surrender the besieged city.