Explosions heard in southern Ukrainian city of Odesa: Regional authorities

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Explosions rocked the southern Ukrainian city of Odesa on Monday, a spokesperson for the regional administration said.

The spokesperson said he could provide no details of the explosions, which were heard after air raid sirens blared.

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Meanwhile, In Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region, which in recent weeks has become the focal point of Moscow’s attempt to impose its will on its neighbor, battles raged for the control of multiple villages, the local governor said.

The villages are around Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, two cities in the Luhansk region yet to be captured by the Russians, according to Luhansk governor Serhiy Haidai.

Russian shelling and airstrikes on the industrial outskirts of Sievierodonetsk have intensified, he said.

Haidai told The Associated Press on Monday that the situation in Sievierodonetsk was “very difficult,” with the Ukrainian forces maintaining control over just one area — the Azot chemical plant, where a number of Ukrainian fighters, along with about 500 civilians, are taking shelter.

The Russians keep deploying additional troops and equipment in the area, he said.

“It’s just hell there. Everything is engulfed in fire, the shelling doesn’t stop even for an hour,” Haidai said in written comments.

Only a fraction of 100,000 people who used to live in Sievierodonetsk before the war remain in the city, with no electricity, communications, food or medicine.

Even so, Haidai said, the staunch Ukrainian resistance is preventing Moscow from deploying its resources to other parts of the country.

Read more: Ukraine says lost control of Sievierodonetsk village Metyolkine

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