Ukraine’s armed forces have acknowledged the loss of several towns and villages in the east as Russia has stepped up its ground operations.
Fighting continues on three fronts, with Russian forces being reinforced and re-supplied from bases inside Russia, according to a Ukrainian military spokesman on Wednesday.
Despite the damage to the area, Ukrainian officials said nine enemy attacks were repulsed only in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, destroying Russian equipment – including nine tanks and 11 artillery systems.
Ukrainian troops are fighting mainly in three directions to prevent Russian forces from occupying all areas of Donetsk and Luhansk, which has been a declared target by the Kremlin.
From the north The Ukrainian military says Russian units are advancing on the town of Barkinove, south of Izium, and have taken control of the village of Zavi, which has been under siege for several days.
The Ukrainians also acknowledged that the Russians had occupied the outskirts of the town of Velika Komishovakha in the same area.
From the east, Russian forces have taken control of the town of Zarichne, and have launched an attack on nearby Yampel.
The spokesman said that the center of Russian aggression was also in the Severidonsk, Popasna and Korakhio regions. Russian troops have also taken control of the town of Novotushkovsky and are trying to advance further west.
In the south Russian forces are trying to strengthen a ground bridge to Crimea and occupy Ukraine’s coastal areas.
The Southern Command of Ukraine’s armed forces said Russian units were reorganizing and conducting aerial reconnaissance, and were trying to push north towards the town of Krevyih Reh and Zaporizhiya.
He also accused the Russians occupying the Kherson area of further “filtration” of civilians in the two districts.
Reported damage includes energy infrastructure in the town of Zelenodolsk and a severe fire in Dnipropetrovsk.
“Ukraine’s armed forces are showing courage and conducting successful operations,” said the head of the military administration in the city of Krevyih Reh.
He added that Russian prisoners had been taken away.