Russian troops are advancing in Ukraine, but the feared major offensive could be yet to come.

On Thursday night there were reports of Russian shelling from several Ukrainian cities.

The Russians have been attacking along the entire front in the Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv regions since Tuesday, Secretary of the Ukrainian Security Council Oleksiy Danilov said in a radio interview.

However, these are probably only “test attacks”.

However, according to Ukrainian sources, most of Luhansk is already under Russian control.

According to the leader of the Russian republic of Chechnya, the Azovstal steelworks in the embattled port city of Mariupol will also fall to the Russians on Thursday.

After long pleas for more and heavy weapons, the Ukrainian President now sees more understanding from partner countries.

They now understand what weapons Ukraine needs, if possible now, said Volodymyr Zelenskyj in his video message every evening on Thursday night.

Germany, too, had been accused of hesitation for a long time.

Last ultimatum for people in Mariupol?

According to Russian information, around 2,500 Ukrainian fighters and foreign mercenaries are still in the Azovstal steel plant.

According to Ukrainian reports, around 1,000 civilians are said to have sought protection there.

"Today before or after lunch, Azovstal will be completely under the control of the Russian armed forces," said Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, whose units are fighting in Ukraine, on Thursday night.

The Ukrainian fighters who remained in the steelworks could still surrender in the morning.

If they do, he is certain that the Russian leadership will make "the right decision."

On Wednesday evening, during talks with Russia, two representatives of the Ukrainian delegation declared their willingness to come to Mariupol to negotiate the evacuation of militants and civilians from the steelworks.

The commander of the remaining marines had previously asked for his fighters to be evacuated to a third country.

According to Ukrainian sources, a rescue of civilians failed again on Wednesday.

Luhansk largely under Russian control

After the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from the small town of Krimenna, Russian units now controlled 80 percent of the Luhansk region, the region's governor, Serhiy Hajday, announced on Telegram on Wednesday evening.

The cities of Rubishne and Popasna in Luhansk are now “partially” under Russian control.

There has been intense fighting over this for weeks.

The shelling increased here too.

At the beginning of the Russian war of aggression around eight weeks ago, the separatists of the "People's Republic" of Luhansk still had around 30 percent of the region under their control.