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Ukrainian troops to withdraw from key city Severodonetsk, regional governor says

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Ukrainian troops will have to withdraw from the besieged eastern city of Severodonetsk, the regional governor said Friday.

Why it matters: The last remaining major city in the Luhansk region of the Donbas still under Ukrainian control has endured weeks of bombardment by Russia’s invading forces.

Lysychansk, Severodonetsk’s twin city in the Luhansk region, has also endured days of heavy shelling, prompting a Ukrainian official to warn the battle for the Donbas is “entering a sort of fearsome climax” this week.

Driving the news: “Unfortunately, we will have to remove our military from Severodonetsk, because staying in broken positions makes no sense — the number of dead is growing,” Luhansk region Gov. Serhiy Haidai said in a Telegram post.

“Defenders of Severodonetsk will leave the city for new, more fortified positions,” Haidai said in a later post.

Editor’s note: This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.