“Ukrainian armed forces will have to retreat from Severodonetsk. They have received an order to do so,” Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Haidai has been quoted as saying. "Remaining in positions that have been relentlessly shelled for months just doesn't make sense," he stated, according to the BBC.
He also added that the city's entire infrastructure has been destroyed with more 90 percent of houses shelled, and 80 percent critically damaged.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on 24 February, has been focused on Severodonetsk and Lysychansk for several weeks as they are the last significant Ukrainian positions in Luhansk, which along with Donetsk is collectively known as the Donbas region.
Click here to understand why Severodonetsk is an important city for Russia's war on Ukraine.
(With inputs from Reuters and the BBC.)