Ukrainian troops will “have to be withdrawn” from the mostly Russian-occupied battleground city of Severodonetsk, the Luhansk governor said on television on Friday.
“Remaining in positions smashed to pieces over many months just for the sake of staying there does not make sense,” Serhiy Haidai said.
He did not indicate whether troops would be withdrawn immediately, or over what time frame the withdrawal would happen.
The UK’s defence ministry said on Thursday some Ukrainian troops had withdrawn from Lysychansk to avoid being encircled. If Russia takes both Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, it will hold the Luhansk region, which is one of the two regions that make up the Donbas.