Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

·2-min read

(Reuters) - Russia said it seized a village near Ukraine's industrial city of Sievierodonetsk, a prime target in Moscow's campaign to control the country's east, as the head of NATO predicted the war could last for years.

FIGHTING

* Luhansk's Governor Serhiy Gaidai told Ukrainian television that "all Russian claims that they control the town are a lie. They control the main part of the town, but not the whole town". He added that fighting made evacuations from the city impossible.

* Britain's Ministry of Defence said both Russia and Ukraine have continued heavy bombardment around Sievierodonestk "with little change to the front line."

* Analysts at the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War think tank wrote that "Russian forces will likely be able to seize Sievierodonetsk in the coming weeks, but at the cost of concentrating most of their available forces in this small area".

* In Ukraine's second largest city Kharkiv, northwest of Luhansk, Russia's defence ministry said its Iskander missiles had destroyed weaponry recently supplied by Western countries.

* A Ukrainian interior ministry official said Russian forces were trying to approach Kharkiv and turn it into a "frontline city".

* In southern Ukraine, Western weaponry had helped Ukrainian forces advance 10 km (6 miles) towards Russian-occupied Melitopol, its mayor said in a video posted on Telegram from outside the city.

* Reuters could not independently verify battlefield reports.

DIPLOMACY* NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the war in Ukraine "could take years" and the West must continue supporting Kyiv, Germany's Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported.

* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned of a need to prepare for a long war, which meant ensuring "Ukraine receives weapons, equipment, ammunition and training more rapidly than the invader".

PRISONERS

* Two top commanders of fighters who defended the Azovstal steel plant in the southeastern port of Mariupol have been transferred to Russia for investigation, Russia's state news agency TASS reported.

ECONOMY

* Germany announced its latest steps to boost gas storage levels to prepare for the next winter season, when it fears Russia, which has cut deliveries in recent days, could reduce or even completely halt supplies.

(Compiled by Cynthia Osterman)

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