Four months after the start of the war, Ukraine has ordered the withdrawal of its troops from the embattled city of Sieverodonetsk in the east of the country. That’s what the governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Hajday, said on television on Friday. Sievjerodonetsk has so far been one of the last parts of Luhansk that has not yet been conquered by Russian and pro-Russian fighters.

For days, the Russian army had surrounded Sieverodonetsk from three sides, and the last Ukrainian fighters and civilians were holding out at the Azot chemical plant.

Otherwise, Russia continues to make progress in the east of Ukraine in tiny steps. For many weeks, the Ukrainian army has managed to force Russia to conquer every major city in weeks of fighting.

Around 70 percent of the buildings in Sievjerodonetsk have now been damaged. There is no electricity or gas for the 9,000 people who remain in the city, which once had more than 100,000 inhabitants. Around 570 people were in the Azot factory, including 38 children. People cannot leave the factory and there is no humanitarian aid, said the head of the city’s military administration, Roman Vlasenko. The only logistics that remained are to support the military.

So far, 300 deaths have been counted in the city, but the true number is very likely higher. There is still something to eat and drink in the Azot factory.

The delivery of heavy weapons from Germany has been delayed for around two months. Recently, the Panzerhaubitze 2000 was the first weapon in this category. However, it is still evident that the federal government is only delivering as much as it absolutely has to – and is doing so as slowly as possible under pressure from the public, opposition and international partners.

On the other hand, the United States promised Ukraine on Thursday further arms deliveries in the amount of 450 million dollars (around 427 million euros). “This package contains weapons and equipment,” said White House national security spokesman John Kirby. Among other things, Himars multiple rocket launchers, tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition and patrol boats would be delivered.

The latest package brings US arms sales to Ukraine to $6.1 billion since the start of Russia’s war of aggression against the country, Kirby said. The US has already delivered four Himars multiple rocket launchers in support of Ukrainian forces. According to US information, four more are now being added.

The mobile systems can fire multiple precision-guided missiles simultaneously at targets up to 80 kilometers away. US President Joe Biden has said the rocket launchers will allow them to hit targets on the battlefield in Ukraine with greater precision. However, this does not encourage or enable the Ukrainian army to strike beyond its borders.