Russia claims advances in eastern Ukraine

Russia's attacks are taking a toll on Ukraine's cultural sites, while the Black Sea blockade is causing food security issues.

Moscow now claims to have taken control of 97 percent of the eastern region of Luhansk.

The city of Rubizhne is one of several in the region targeted by Russian forces.

Satellite images show significant damage across the city.

Russia's defense chief says forces are pressing ahead to control the Ukrainian stronghold of Severodonetsk.

Sergei Shoigu said, "Residential areas in Severodonetsk have been fully liberated. We're continuing our operations in the industrial areas and neighboring villages."

Russian armaments are harming some cultural sites. Debris from nearby attacks hit a church dating back to the 18th century.

A cleric said," It's impossible to understand why the Russians attacked, or the theories and thought process behind their actions."

The prolonged invasion is halting Kyiv's grain exports through the Black Sea, threatening a global food crisis.