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.
Ukraine now controls around half of Severodonetsk after reclaiming some ground from the Russians, according to Serhiy Hayday, head of the Luhansk region military administration.
The UK defense ministry on Friday said it expects Russia to take control of the whole of the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine within the next two weeks, according to its latest intelligence assessment.
In Sumy, the Russians fired six air-to-ground missiles on Saturday morning, and missiles were fired from a Russian plane overnight, according to Dmytro Zhyvytskyi, head of the Sumy regional military administration. Houses were damaged but there were no casualties in the attacks.
In the Kharkiv region, one person died and eight people were injured after shelling in Balaklia, including an 11-year-old girl, regional officials said. The military statement added that “intense fire continues” against Ukrainian troop positions.
In Odesa, two people were injured after a cruise missile deployed by a Russian plane struck an agricultural warehouse on Saturday morning, said Serhii Bratchuk, spokesperson of the Odesa military administration.
Further east, the city of Mykolaiv was “fired upon with heavy artillery and multiple rocket launchers” on Saturday morning. No one was injured, regional officials said.
In the Kherson area, the situation remains “stably difficult,” regional officials said. Russian troops continued shelling the area of Novovorontsovka. Phone and internet communications remain limited for “the vast majority” of the population of the region, and “urgent humanitarian aid” is needed in the Kakhovka and Beryslav districts along the Dnipro river, the statement said.