Western long-range artillery would enable Ukraine to beat back Russian forces and capture Severodonetsk within days, a regional Ukrainian official said Thursday., June 9

“As soon as we have long-range artillery to be able to conduct duels with Russian artillery, our special forces can clean up the city in two to three days,” Lugansk regional governor Serhii Haidai said in an interview distributed on his official social media channels.

Moscow’s forces are concentrating their firepower on the strategically important industrial hub as part of efforts to capture a swathe of eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky late Wednesday described the battle as “one of the most difficult” since the start of the war.


Haidai said Thursday that Ukrainian forces in the city remained “highly motivated” and that “everyone is holding their positions”.

“Russia is constantly shelling areas controlled by Ukrainians with artillery,” he added.

The US and Britian have announced they are providing Kyiv with long-range precision artillery batteries, defying warnings from Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

The Luhansk region more broadly was under continued mortar, artillery and rocket attacks, the Ukrainian presidency said.

It said four people were killed and five more wounded in a Russian air strike on Toshkivka, a village around 25 kilometres south of Severodonetsk.

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