Having endured long battles to capture cities in the neighbouring Lugansk region, Russia is now seeking to push deeper into Donetsk to consolidate its hold over the entire Donbas region.
The industrial hub is under intense bombardment as Russia focuses its offensive on the eastern Donbas region in an effort to seize a swathe of Ukraine.
After abandoning its bungled attempt to storm Kyiv two months ago, Russia declared that taking the entire Donbas is its main objective.
Haidai said later Tuesday that “most of Sievierodonetsk" was under Russian control, though he added that fierce fighting continued and the city wasn’t surrounded.
Biden had said Monday that the US would not send Ukraine "rocket systems that can strike into Russia." Any weapons system can shoot into Russia if it's close enough to the border.
Russia is waging all-out war for the eastern Donbas region -- Ukraine's industrial heartland where President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Moscow of carrying out a 'genocide'.
Russia is waging all-out war for the eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions that make up Donbas, Ukraine's industrial heartland where Zelensky has accused Moscow of carrying out a 'genocide'.
At least nine people were killed in shelling of Kharkiv, raising fears that Russia had not lost interest in the northeastern hub even after Ukraine managed to take back control.
Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said Ukraine was "entering a new - long-term - phase of the war."
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, meanwhile, announced he would meet Sunday in his nation's capital with the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, and the US secretary of defense, Austin.
The war has brought back painful memories for residents of Sloviansk, wherein 2014 Ukrainian government forces repulsed Russia-backed separatists after a fierce battle.
Moscow is pushing for a major victory in the southern city as it works to wrest control of Donbas and forge a land corridor to already-annexed Crimea.
It was the latest such offer to the Ukrainian defenders of the key Sea of Azov port during a siege that has lasted for more than one and a half months.