The Ukrainian military says Russian forces are continuing their efforts to eliminate its defensive positions in Donetsk, with the town of Siversk their immediate priority.
The enemy continues to focus its main efforts on attempts to establish control over the city of Siversk and advance in the direction of the city of Bakhmut," the General Staff of the armed forces said Sunday.
After withdrawing from the city of Lysychansk last month, the Ukrainians appear to be defending terrain further west with tenacity – despite superior Russian firepower.
Last week, the leadership of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic claimed that Siversk had been taken, but western intelligence assessments are that it is still held by the Ukrainians. The General Staff said Sunday that another attempt by the Russians to break through towards Siversk had been foiled near Hryhorivka.
The General Staff said several settlements south of Bakhmut had been shelled, while towns further from the front lines had been hit by missile and airstrikes.
After what some observers regarded as an operational pause by Russian forces to re-equip, it appears they are now trying to advance on the ground again, but are meeting stiff resistance.
"The occupiers tried to storm and advance near Berestove, Bilohorivka, Yakovlivka, and Novoluhanske," all settlements within the pocket of Donetsk that the Ukrainians are trying to defend, the General Staff said.
"The actions of the enemy again ended in failure and loss of personnel," it added
The General Staff also said there had been shelling of more than ten districts north of the city of Sloviansk, but did not say whether any territory had been lost in the area.