Russian forces have taken control of two more settlements near the strategic city of Lysychansk in their offensive to capture the remainder of the Luhansk region, according to Ukrainian officials, APA reports.
Shrinking territory: It appears the pocket of territory defended by Ukrainian forces where the regions of Luhansk and Donetsk meet has shrunk further as Russian attacks persist from three sides.
Since yesterday Loskutivka and Rai-Oleksandrivka were occupied by the enemy," Serhiy Hayday, head of the Luhansk region military administration, said on Thursday.
In its operational update for Thursday, the General Staff indicated that the Russian focus was now on seizing the highway.
The Russians were "trying to seize the dominant heights in the area of Berestove in order to establish control over the Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway" and had brought in an additional tactical battalion group," it said.
Hayday said Ukraine continues to "deter the Russians" but "the occupiers are destroying industrial facilities."