Conflicts & War

Ukraine: We’ve halted Russian push in Donetsk

Moscow/Kyiv, Jul 10 (EFE).- A week after Russian forces captured the eastern Ukrainian city of Lysychansk, in their push to take control of the Luhansk region, Ukrainian resistance has managed to contain the enemy’s advance, causing Moscow’s offensive in Donetsk to lose momentum.

“The enemy is gathering troops near Belohorivka, bombarding the nearby settlements, staging air attacks” in Donetsk, Luhansk Gov. Serghiy Haidai wrote on Telegram.

According to the governor, Ukraine still controls “gray areas” in the region despite the fact that Russia has claimed that those zones have been “liberated” from Ukrainian forces, and “the enemy has not been able to occupy all of Luhansk.”

At the end of a week in which Russian forces announced taking control of Lysychansk, the last major city in Luhansk, Moscow’s advance in the neighboring region of Donetsk has not been so forceful although Russian troops are punishing the Ukrainian forces all along the front lines and – so far – not allowing them to stage significant counterattacks.

The Luhansk governoR said that “just in a single night, the Russians launched seven artillery bombardments and four missile attacks” in their effort to advance on Siversk, an intermediate point on the road to Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, the main Ukrainian bastions in Donetsk.

The US-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) confirmed the situation, saying that Russian forces continued to attack towns west of Lysychansk in an effort to advance toward Siversk.

The ISW noted that Russian attempts to move toward Verkhnokamianske, eight kilometers (5 miles) east of the city, while the Ukrainian General Staff reported an assault on Grigorivka, 11 km northwest of the city.

Meanwhile, the ambassador to Russia of the self-proclaimed and Russian-backed People’s Republic of Luhansk, Rodion Miroschnik, said on his Telegram account that “Grigorivka was taken,” while pro-Russian forces “are continuing to fight to liberate Serebrianka.”

“The offensive is advancing from the north toward Siversk,” he said, adding that Ukrainian forces are trying to build fortifications on the outskirts of Siversk but “it’s already clear to everyone that they will not be able to contain the advance of Russian forces for long, and so some units are clandestinely leaving the city.”

Russian forces are already preparing the ground for a future offensive, the ISW said, adding that the expected push will include air attacks on Bohorodichne and bombardment of Dibrovne, Adamivka and Sloviansk.

Khahiv Gov. Oleg Sinegubov said on his Telegram account that Russian forces bombarded the Izium district in Donetsk, an attack detected by NASA’s FIRMS fire detection system, which spotted fires burning in fields northwest of Sloviansk.

In the city of Chasiv Yar, west of Kramatorsk, a Russian Hurricane missile hit an apartment building, according to Donetsk Gov. Pavlo Kirylenko, killing at least 15 civilians.

Rescue services, which saved five people who had been buried in the rubble, said that some 24 people remain trapped – or dead – in the ruins of the building.

An official with the Russian Defense Ministry told the country’s TASS news agency that the building was occupied by Ukrainian soldiers and thus had become a target for the Russian army.

“According to the information we received from there, there are only the bodies of Ukrainian soldiers under the rubble. There were no civilians there,” the defense spokesman said.

Sinegubov said that the Russians had not managed to advance any further on Kharhiv in recent weeks, adding that “our combatants are defending positions in all directions.”

“The Russians are trying to prevent the advance of Ukrainian forces and fix their positions. The occupants undertook an exploratory mission in the town of Dolyna, but they withdrew after having no success,” he added.

A similar situation is occurring in southern Ukraine, where Russian forces are carrying out failed reconnaissance attempts in the region of Kherson and along the border with the Dnipro region, the ISW said.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military command said that the Russian army has been focusing on defending the positions it has occupied and halting Ukrainian counterattacks with its “available means.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, acknowledged the situation, confirming attacks on a number of towns and cities in the region.

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