The eastern Ukrainian city of Sievjerodonetsk is almost completely surrounded by Russian troops. Moscow reports the capture of Lyman, while Ukraine again reports dead and injured civilians. All news about the attack on Ukraine can be found here in the ticker.

7:53 a.m .: According to the authorities, the situation for the residents of the embattled city of Severodonetsk in Donbass in eastern Ukraine is becoming increasingly hopeless. “Russia is using all means to conquer Severodonetsk or to prevent communications in the region and in Ukraine,” said the governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Gaiday, on the Telegram messenger service on Saturday evening. “The coming week will be very difficult,” he added. However, the Russian troops are not able to implement all their plans in the near future.

The mayor of Severodonetsk, Olexander Stryuk, also referred to Telegram on the “many means” used by the Russian army to take the city. “But they can’t do that yet,” he said with conviction. “We believe the city will hold up.” He expressed concern about the sanitary situation in the city, which had a population of 100,000 before the war.

“Constant bombing raids” would complicate the supply of drinking water in particular. The city had had no electricity for more than two weeks, Stryuk said on Saturday evening. The city’s “humanitarian aid center” had stopped working, he added.

Gajdaj had previously stated that the Russian army was “quite simply destroying the city”. They entered the outskirts of the city, where they suffered “heavy casualties” while Ukrainian troops tried to drive the Russians out of a hotel.

He was referring to a police representative from the pro-Russian separatist region of Luhansk who, according to the Ria Novosti news agency, said on Friday that Severodonetsk was “currently surrounded”.

May 29, 2022, 2:30 a.m.: According to the authorities, several civilians were killed or wounded in attacks on Ukrainian locations. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of “new terror”. These are “senseless, barbaric attacks” with rockets and mortars, he said in a video speech on Saturday.

The Ukrainian army said it had repelled Russian attacks. 33 “occupiers” were killed and 6 armored vehicles destroyed. The information is not independently verifiable.

The city of Sievjerodonetsk in the Donbass was particularly hard fought. Russian troops are trying to gain a foothold there, Ukrainian military expert Oleh Zhdanov said, according to Unian agency. According to Luhansk Governor Serhiy Hajdaj, the city is still under the Ukrainian flag. He contradicted reports from Russia that Sievjerodonetsk was completely taken.

Meanwhile, in the port city of Mariupol, which was conquered by Russia, Mayor Vadym Boychenko warned of the risk of infectious diseases. The sewage system and garbage disposal no longer worked, and the temperatures rose. “Therefore, our doctors report the danger that may arise this summer: outbreaks of infectious diseases such as dysentery and others,” Boychenko said.

11.46 a.m .: According to Russian information, the city of Lyman in eastern Ukraine has been taken. According to the Ministry of Defense in Moscow, it is completely under the control of Russian troops and their allied units of the People’s Republic of Donetsk. Pro-Russian separatists from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic had previously announced that they would conquer Lyman. The Ukrainian military had also admitted a setback.

10:54 a.m .: The Cherson region in southern Ukraine, occupied by Russian troops, has closed the border to the north for refugees. “The border crossing in the direction of the Mykolaiv and Dnepropetrovsk regions is very dangerous given the systematic shelling by Ukrainian fighters,” said the deputy head of the pro-Russian military administration, Kirill Stremusov, explaining the decision. Departures from the Cherson region are instead possible via the Crimean peninsula or the Russian-controlled part of the Zaporizhia region.

The new administration has taken numerous initiatives to cut off the Kherson region from Ukraine and connect it to Russia. The Russian national currency, the ruble, was introduced, the administration has demanded the issuance of Russian passports and the entry of the region into the Russian Federation – even without a prior referendum. Even Moscow reacted cautiously to the last initiative. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the people of the region must decide their own fate.

The closure of the borders could serve to stop the flow of refugees into Ukrainian-occupied areas. According to estimates by the Ukrainian regional administration, the city of Kherson has lost around half of its population since it was occupied. A fifth of the population had fled the region of the same name, the Ukrainian regional administration said in early May.

10:25 a.m .: According to British intelligence services, the Russian armed forces in Ukraine are likely to focus on the small town of Lyman as a hub in the coming days. The city in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk is said to be largely under Russian control as of Friday, according to an update from the British Ministry of Defense on Saturday.

With a major railway junction and access to major road and rail bridges across the Seversky Donets River, Lyman is of great strategic importance, including for Russia’s continued advance in Donbass. If Moscow succeeds in taking control of the city and the region around the city of Sievjerodonetsk, the Kremlin will sell this to its citizens as an important political success, the British write.

8:50 a.m.: The Ukrainian military has admitted a setback in the battle for the strategically important city of Lyman in the Donbass. The enemy is “trying to establish itself in the Lyman area” and is already shelling towns outside the city, according to the situation report of the Ukrainian general staff on Saturday. The day before, the general staff had reported fighting in Lyman and announced that the Russian troops were trying to force the Ukrainian defenders out of the city. The pro-Russian separatists reported the capture of Lyman on Friday.

The General Staff has now announced that Russian troops are shelling the towns of Oserne and Dibrowa with grenade and rocket launchers. Both villages are southeast of Lyman. This indicates that the front is now south of the city. The Russian military had attacked Lyman from the north. The city is strategically located at a crossroads from which both the metropolitan area around the major cities of Sieverodonetsk and Lysychansk and the metropolitan area around Sloviansk and Kramatorsk can be attacked.

Saturday, May 28, 00:53: Ukraine has blamed Russia for the deaths of five civilians in the government-troop-controlled part of the Donetsk region in the east of the country. “Today Russians killed five citizens of Donbass and wounded four others,” the governor of the region, Pavlo Kirilenko, wrote on Friday in the Telegram news channel. The Ukrainian army also spoke of heavy artillery, tank, mortar and air attacks on civilian infrastructure and peaceful residential areas. “The occupiers fired on 49 locations in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” it said.

The Ukrainian military inflicted casualties on the attacker there, including 60 fighters killed and five tanks destroyed, the army said. The information is not independently verifiable. According to the government, several dozen residents were evacuated from shelled places in the Kyiv-controlled part of Donbass. Ukrainian media also reported attacks in the Kharkiv area.

The governor of Luhansk, Serhiy Hajday, spoke of a difficult situation in the heavily contested city of Sieverodonetsk. Although you have enough funds to keep the defense, he said. However, it could be that the Ukrainian military will withdraw for tactical reasons. Russian soldiers are in the city.

6:20 p.m .: According to the local military administration, the particularly hard-fought city of Sievjerodonetsk in eastern Ukraine is almost completely surrounded by Russian troops. Two-thirds of the city in the Luhansk region is already under siege, but not yet completely surrounded, said the head of the local military administration, Olexandr Strjuk, on Friday. The defenders continued to put up fierce resistance. On the other hand, according to the Moscow state news agency Ria Novosti, the pro-Russian separatists claimed that the ring was completely closed around the city.

According to Strjuk, around 90 percent of the city’s buildings are damaged, and 60 percent would have to be completely rebuilt. He had previously announced that around 1,500 people had been killed in Sieverodonetsk since the start of the war. Among them are both soldiers and civilians, Strjuk said. Many people have also fled. Of the once 130,000 inhabitants, only about a tenth now live there.

More than three months after the start of the Russian war of aggression, the city of Sieverodonetsk is one of the last parts of Luhansk still controlled by the Ukrainian army. Not far from the city limits, however, there is already fierce fighting. Observers have been expecting for days that Ukrainian brigades in Sievjerodonetsk could be surrounded by Russian and pro-Russian military.

1:34 p.m .: According to Ukrainian sources, “around ten people” were killed in Russian attacks on a military base in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro. “A National Guard military training ground was hit by Iskander missiles this morning,” National Guard regional head Gennady Korban told Dnipro TV on Friday. Another 30 to 35 people were injured.

The governor of the region, Valentin Resnichenko, had previously stated that the attacks had caused “severe damage” and rescue workers were looking for victims under the rubble. Dnipro is a large industrial city in central Ukraine. It had so far been spared major war damage and served as a hub for internally displaced persons from the east of the country.

12:37 p.m .: Russia’s military has confirmed attacks on the eastern Ukrainian regions of Kharkiv and Donetsk. Rockets were fired at a Ukrainian brigade in the fiercely contested town of Bakhmut in Donetsk, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Friday. Military objects in the Kharkiv region were also fired at with rockets. The Ukrainian side had already lamented several deaths from Russian shelling in Kharkiv on Thursday.

Russia has been at war with Ukraine since February 24. The heaviest fighting is currently raging in the east of the country. The Luhansk region is largely occupied by Russian and pro-Russian military forces, and the cities of Sievjerodonetsk and Lysychansk, which are still controlled by Ukrainians, are threatened with encirclement.

11:03 a.m .: Pro-Russian separatists have announced their capture of the strategically important city of Lyman in eastern Ukraine. With the support of the Russian armed forces, they had “gained complete control” over Lyman, the general staff of the separatists in the Donetsk region announced on Friday in the messenger service Telegram. Overall, the separatists “liberated 220 towns”. Lyman is an important railway junction northeast of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.

The capture of Lyman would allow a Russian advance on the two cities still under Ukrainian control. Ukraine recaptured Sloviansk from the separatists in 2014. Kramatorsk is the capital of the Ukrainian-controlled part of Donetsk region.

Russia and Ukraine initially did not comment on the reported intake. An independent verification was not possible. The separatists had already reported on Tuesday that they controlled half of the city.

10.45 a.m .: According to a local politician, dozens of other bodies of residents have been found in the Ukrainian port of Mariupol, which has now been taken by Russian troops. Rescue workers discovered a total of around 70 lifeless bodies on a former factory site, Mariupol city council deputy Petro Andryushchenko wrote on Friday in the Telegram news service. People were buried under the rubble when Russian occupiers shelled the building, he wrote. This information could not initially be verified.

9.10 a.m .: According to official information, around 1,500 people have been killed in the particularly hard-fought eastern Ukrainian city of Sievjerodonetsk since the beginning of the war. Among them are both soldiers and civilians, said the head of the local military administration, Olexandr Strjuk, on Friday. Many people have also fled. Of the once 130,000 inhabitants, only around a tenth is now there. The governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Hajday, also reported that four people died in Russian shelling on Sieverodonetsk residential areas the day before.

You can read more reports on the Ukraine conflict on the following pages.