Russian forces are continuing to focus their attacks on the east of the country but resistance from Ukrainian troops is slowing their progress.

Russian forces initially made rapid gains in the south, with their main objective being the creation of a land corridor between Crimea, which it annexed in 2014, and areas held by Russian-backed separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk.

But strong resistance from Ukrainian forces near Mykolaiv in the west and in Mariupol in the east significantly slowed Russian advances.

Russian forces have stormed the plant and the Ukrainian fighters holding out inside are losing ground, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). Several hundred civilians have been evacuated from the steel plant in recent days but Russian forces have continued their aerial bombardment.

The UN’s humanitarian chief says efforts are continuing to get the remaining civilians to safety.

To the west, Russia has been attempting to push towards Odesa, with the aim of cutting off Ukraine’s access to the Black Sea. But their advances stalled at Mykolaiv, and they are reported to have been pushed back by Ukrainian troops.