The Russian military said Wednesday that it used long-range missiles to destroy a depot in Ukraine’s western Lviv region that housed ammunition for NATO-supplied weapons, and the governor of a key eastern city acknowledged that Russian forces are advancing amid heavy fighting.

Those strikes came as fighting raged for the city of Sievierodonetsk in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, the focal point of Russia’s recent offensive.

Separatists backed by Russia accused Ukrainian forces of sabotaging an evacuation of civilians from the city’s besieged Azot chemical plant, where about 500 civilians and an unknown number of Ukrainian fighters are thought to be hiding from missile attacks. That claim could not be verified. Russian officials announced a humanitarian corridor from the Azot plant the day before, saying it would take civilians to areas controlled by Russian forces rather than Ukrainian forces.

Many previously announced planned evacuations from other conflict zones in Ukraine have failed, with both sides blaming the other. Some Ukrainians have been hesitant to flee to Russian-controlled territory.

Serhiy Haidai, the Ukrainian governor of Luhansk, told The Associated Press that “heavy fighting in Sievierodonetsk continues today as well.” The situation in the city is deteriorating, according to Haidai, because Russian forces have more manpower and weapons.

“However, our military is holding back the enemy from three sides at the same time,” Haidai explained. “The enemy is advancing due to a significant advantage in artillery and people, but the Ukrainian army is defending its city positions.”
According to Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov, Russian forces destroyed the depot near the town of Zolochiv in the Lviv region near the border with NATO member Poland using high-precision Kalibr missiles.

Konashenkov stated that shells for M777 howitzers, which were supplied by the US, were stored there. He claimed that four howitzers were destroyed in other battles, and that Russian airstrikes also destroyed Ukrainian “aviation equipment” at a military aerodrome in the southern Mykolaiv region.

While Russian forces have focused most of their attacks on eastern Ukraine, where they are attempting to seize large swaths of territory, they have also hit more specific targets elsewhere in the country, using high-precision missiles to disrupt international weapons supplies and destroy military infrastructure.
Civilian infrastructure has also been targeted, despite Russian officials’ claims that they are only targeting military facilities.

The latest attacks come as Ukraine maintains pressure on Western countries to provide more arms, and NATO countries pledge more heavy weapons for Ukraine.
Ukrainian officials have recently spoken of the war’s high human cost, with the fierce fighting in the east devolving into an artillery battle in which Kyiv’s forces are outgunned and outnumbered.

“The losses, unfortunately, are painful, but we have to hold out,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said late Tuesday in his nightly video address. “The more losses the enemy suffers there, the less strength it will have to continue the aggression. Therefore, the Donbas is key to determining who will dominate in the coming weeks.”
Mykhailo Podolyak, a Zelenskyy adviser, tweeted on Wednesday that he receives a daily message from Ukrainian defenders in the east saying, “We are holding on, just say: when to expect the weapons?” He stated that he has the same message for NATO leaders.

Meanwhile, Dmitry Medvedev, a former Russian president and deputy chair of Russia’s Security Council, has warned that Russia appears intent on not only claiming territory but also eliminating Ukraine as a nation.
He wrote in a Telegram post that he had seen reports that Ukraine wants to receive liquefied natural gas from its “overseas masters,” with payment due in two years.
“But there’s a question,” he added. Who said Ukraine would even exist on the map in two years?

Reacting to Medvedev’s comments, Podolyak said on Twitter: “Ukraine has been and will be. Where will Medvedev be in two years, that’s the question.”