Moscow has launched an all-out assault to encircle Ukraine troops in the east of the country.

Iran PressEurope: Russian forces were launching an all-out assault to encircle Ukrainian troops in twin cities straddling a river in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday, a battle that could be decisive for the destiny of war in the east.

The decisive battles of the war's latest phase are still raging further south, where Moscow is attempting to seize the Donbas region of two eastern provinces, Donetsk and Luhansk, and encircle the Ukrainian forces on the main eastern front, Reuters reported.

The easternmost part of the Ukrainian-held Donbas pocket, the city of Sievierodonetsk on the east bank of the Siverskiy Donets river and its twin Lysychansk on the west bank, have become the pivotal battlefield there, with Russian forces advancing from three directions to encircle them.

"The enemy has focused its efforts on carrying out an offensive in order to encircle Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk," said Serhiy Gaidai, governor of Luhansk province, where the two cities are among the last territory still held by Ukraine.

"The intensity of fire on Sievierodonetsk has increased by multiple times, they are simply destroying the city," he said on TV, adding there were about 15,000 people in the city and the Ukrainian military remains in control of it.

Reuters journalists in the Donbas, who reached Bakhmut further west, heard and saw intense shelling on the highway towards Lysychansk on Monday. Ukrainian armored vehicles, tanks and rocket launchers were moving towards the front lines, with and buses carrying soldiers.

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