Russia claims that 2,000 Ukrainian troops are encircled as Ukraine loses a crucial town.

Moscow says it has encircled 2,000 Ukrainian troops in Luhansk region . Ukraine says it has completely occupied a town south of the strategically important city of Lysychansk .

According to Ukraine, Russian forces had completely occupied a town south of the strategically important city of Lysychansk in the eastern Luhansk region as of Friday, and Moscow said it had encircled around 2,000 Ukrainian forces in the area, placing Lysychansk, the last major Ukrainian-controlled city in Luhansk, in danger of being enveloped from three directions by advance Russian forces.On the outskirts of Hirske, there are some insignificant, local battles going on, but the enemy has entered, according to a regional administration spokeswoman.Russia's defense ministry said on Friday that it had encircled up to 2,000 Ukrainian troops, including 80 foreign fighters.The analysis by Reuters was not independently verified by the regional administration spokesperson.The Russian defense ministry said in its daily briefing on Friday that its forces had completely isolated a group of Ukrainian forces near Hirske and Zolote.

There was no place left there, and we could not allow them to be encircled, said Oleksander Musiyenko, a military analyst based in Kyiv.