As Russia intensifies its assault on the eastern part of Ukraine, the Ukrainian military claimed that Russian troops are making little progress, particularly in the Donetsk region.
“The rate of advance of enemy units during hostilities in the Donetsk direction is low, due to the physical exhaustion of personnel and low morale and psychological condition,” Ukraine’s General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said on Saturday.
Russia’s air activity “remains high” over eastern Ukraine and has contributed to Russia’s “recent tactical successes,” but has “failed to have a meaningful impact on the conflict,” the latest intelligence assessment from the UK’s defense ministry said on Saturday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said this week that one-fifth of the country’s territory is under Russian control, with Donbas “almost entirely destroyed.”
Here’s the status of battles across the country, according to the Ukrainian military.
In the Bakhmut area of the Donetsk region, Russian forces were forced to retreat after “suffering the results of the fire damage from Ukrainian units.”
In the Sloviansk area of Donetsk, Russia failed in “assault operations” in two areas and “suffered losses,” the Ukrainian military said. Russia also “carried out artillery shelling” in three other areas.
The Ukrainian military has said that Russian units are being bolstered on the approaches to Sloviansk as they gear up for renewed assaults toward the city. Hundreds of people are fleeing Sloviansk every day, with evacuation numbers almost doubling this week, said the head of the city’s military administration, Vadym Lyakh, on Saturday. There are currently around 22,000 people left in the city, around a fifth of the pre-war population of approximately 110,000, according to Lyakh.
In total, Ukraine repelled nine attacks by the Russians in the Donbas region in the past 24 hours, the military said.
But Russia has “not stopped offensive operations” and “continue to launch missile and air strikes on military and civilian infrastructure,” the statement said.
In the Luhansk region, four people were killed and one person was injured after Russian attacks in six areas, regional officials said. In the battle for the city of Severodonetsk, street fights continue, and there were “assault actions in the industrial zone” of the city, which is still held by the Ukrainian forces.