Ukrainian forces still holding out in the eastern city of Severodonetsk are outnumbered by Russian forces, President Volodymyr Zelensky has said.
Both sides fought for the city in street-by-street battles on Monday as artillery shells rained from above.
Mr Zelensky said the intensity of fighting there and in nearby Lysychansk has made them both “dead cities”.
If captured, the two strategic targets would deliver Russian forces the entire Luhansk region in Ukraine’s east.
However, the Ukrainian president said defending forces there were outnumbered.
Shortly afterwards, UNIAN news agency quoted the city’s Mayor Oleksandr Stryuk as saying “fierce” street battles in Severodonetsk meant “the situation changes every hour”.
He said he was confident that Ukraine had “enough forces and means” to recapture the city in full.