Russia has taken control of most of the eastern city of Severodonetsk despite a series of counterattacks by Ukrainian forces, while at least seven people have been killed in Russian strikes on targets across Ukraine in the past 24 hours.
Here are the latest updates on Russia's war in Ukraine:
- Severedonetsk holding out: Ukraine's army has carried a series of counterattacks in the eastern city of Severodonetsk, but Russian forces still control "most" of the city, said Serhiy Hayday, head of Luhansk regional military administration. Severodonetsk is one of the last remaining strongholds held by Ukraine in Luhansk.
- Hundreds sheltering in chemical factory: Around 800 people are hiding in several Soviet-era bomb shelters underneath the Azot chemical factory in Severodonetsk, which has been targeted by Russian missile attacks, Hayday told CNN on Thursday.
- Russian strikes across Ukraine: At least seven people have been killed and 26 more injured in the past 24 hours, Ukrainian officials said Thursday. In addition to attacks in Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine, Russian forces fired on targets in Mykolaiv in the south, Sumy in the northeast and Lviv in the west.
- Ukrainian children sent to Russia: Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelensky says more than 200,000 Ukrainian children have been forcibly taken to Russia since the start of the war. The aim is “to steal people” and “make deportees forget about Ukraine and not be able to return," he said. Meanwhile, Russian state news agency TASS reported that 1.6 million people from Ukraine and breakaway republics in the Donbas region have crossed into Russia since the start of the Kremlin’s invasion.
- Ukrainian first lady rules out giving up territory to Russia: Conceding territory to Russia would be “conceding a freedom” and would not end President Vladimir Putin’s invasion, said Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska. “Ukrainians can’t take normally all those statements that we are sometimes hearing from leaders of countries — in some cases the leaders of big and influential countries," Zelenska said during an interview with ABC News previewed on Thursday. "You can’t just concede parts of your territory, it’s like conceding a freedom.”
- Ukrainian football team one game away from World Cup: Ukraine's mens national football team will qualify for the World Cup in Qatar if they can beat Wales in Cardiff on Sunday. The team beat Scotland 3-1 on Wednesday night.