"The Russian army has thrown virtually all its forces and means in order to storm the settlements around. They seek to break through the defenses of our troops and are trying to encircle the grouping of our troops, which is carrying out the defense of Lysychansk and Severodonetsk," Ukraine’s deputy defense minister, Hanna Maliar said.

Ukrainian troops are doing "everything possible" to hold its territory in order to prevent encirclement, she said, adding:

But we must understand that the enemy has an advantage in armament, so the situation is extremely difficult now, and at night and today, there is a maximum intensity of these decisive battles.

Russian army has enough firepower

The head of the region's Military administration, Serhiy Hayday said that dozens of pieces of Russian heavy military equipment had been brought into the region and were already deployed on the battlefield.

In the city itself, Hayday said that fighting is underway in the industrial area, but that "most of the city is under control of Russian army. Now the Ukrainian military controls only the industrial zone and the territory of the Azot plant."

Hayday also provided an update on the fighting in the neighboring town of Lysychansk. He said that there was fighting along the highway between Lysychansk and Bakhmut and that all the towns in that area are being shelled and that Lysychansk "had been shelled almost all day" on Monday.