A US-based think tank says Russian forces are assaulting the eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk and making territorial gains even though they have not yet encircled it.
The Institute for the Study of War issued its latest assessment of the Russian offensive in Ukraine on Saturday.
It says Russian President Vladimir Putin is "hurling men and munitions" at the city of Severodonetsk in the Luhansk region, "as if taking it would win the war for the Kremlin," but "he is wrong."
The report says, "When the battle of Severodonetsk ends, regardless of which side holds the city, the Russian offensive at the operational and strategic levels will likely have culminated, giving Ukraine the chance to restart its operational-level counteroffensives to push Russian forces back."
It added that seizing the city will allow Moscow to declare that it has fully secured Luhansk, but this will give Russia "no other significant military or economic benefit."