UPDATE 1-Russian forces push deeper into Sivierodonetsk


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KYIV, May 30 (Reuters) – Russian troops are entering the city of Sivierodonetsk from the outskirts, Luhansk region governor Serhiy Gaidai said on Monday.

Sievierodonetsk, the largest city that Kyiv still partly controls in the Luhansk region of Donbass, has been at the center of Russian attacks in eastern Ukraine.

“Unfortunately, we have disappointing news, the enemy is entering the city,” Gaidai told state television.

He said the nearby town of Lysychansk was still under Ukrainian control, while the main road leading to the two towns was shelled, but not blocked.

Having failed to take the capital Kyiv at the start of the war, Russia is seeking to consolidate its grip on Donbass, much of which is already controlled by Moscow-backed separatists.

Unlike previous phases of the war, which Moscow calls a “special military operation” to demilitarize Ukraine and rid it of nationalists threatening Russian speakers there, Russia has concentrated its firepower in a small area.

“They (the Russian army) use the same tactics over and over again. They bomb for several hours – for three, four, five hours – in a row, then attack. Those who attack die. Then the bombardments and attacks follow one another , and so on until they cross somewhere,” Gaidai said. (Writing by Conor Humphries and Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by Toby Chopra)