Fighting in eastern Ukraine continues to be concentrated in the Bakhmut area of Donetsk, according to Ukrainian officials.
Serhiy Hayday, head of the Luhansk regional military administration, said on Ukrainian television that the “Donetsk sector is the most difficult as Russians are trying to capture Bakhmut — and all settlements from Lysychansk to Bakhmut are important for them.”
Lysychansk is in the neighboring Luhansk region and was captured by Russian forces in June.
Hayday said the Ukrainian military had destroyed a “huge number of occupiers’ personnel and their equipment” in the village of Bilohorivka.
“Now they are trying to break through the defense line, as they plan to make an additional bridgehead to expand the offensive. Attacks are taking place there around the clock, this territory is being constantly shelled. Six people remain in the village; those are elderly people who do not want to leave. It is difficult to take out people who do not want to leave,” the official said.
Amid difficult weather conditions, Hayday said the “liberation of Luhansk region is very difficult. However, there is a positive thing. Our troops are not far from Kreminna,” a town north of Lysychansk that has been occupied since the spring.
Meanwhile, Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of the Donetsk regional military administration, said that after Russian missile strikes on parts of Donetsk Monday, “emergency power outages continue. Power engineers are feeding the system with backup sources. In general, the situation is stable. After emergency shutdowns, generators are switched on.”
He said the situation around Bakhmut “is extremely tense.”
“Claims of the enemy that Bakhmut is taken and they are on the outskirts of the city are not true,” he said. “Most of the people have evacuated from Bakhmut. There are now about 12,000 residents in Bakhmut out of 81,000 before the invasion. The enemy is trying to destroy the civilian population.”
The Ukrainian military said the center of Bakhmut was hit — and an administrative building, a dormitory, and a residential building were damaged.
Kyrylenko said the Russians also shelled the town of Vuhledar, as well as Kurakhove and Hostre — a kindergarten, four high-rise buildings and seven private houses were damaged.