Ukraine’s armed forces have acknowledged that Russian forces have made further advances in Donetsk region — capturing one district within 10 miles (about 16 kilometers) of the important town of Bakhmut.
In an operational update Thursday, the armed forces’ general staff said that while several Russian efforts to advance had been thwarted, “in the directions of Pokrovsky and Klynove, the enemy has partial success, capturing the village of Midna Ruda.”
Midna Ruda is some 10 miles (about 16 kilometers) southeast of Bakhmut, which has come under heavier artillery fire in the last week. Bakhmut is on a key resupply route for Ukrainian units on the frontlines, which would potentially be cut off by further Russian advances.
“In the Donetsk direction, the enemy is shelling our troops, launching missile strikes, conducting surveillance, and increasing air support,” the general staff said.
The general staff also said that other Russian efforts to push west towards the Donetsk region border had been repulsed. It said the Russians continued to bombard Ukrainian troops south of the town of Lyman, much of which fell into Russian hands Tuesday. Video Wednesday showed the Russian flag flying above the town’s municipal offices.
According to the Ukrainians, Russian efforts to advance into Donetsk from the north continue to be frustrated. The front lines in the area have changed little in recent weeks. The general staff said that “with the support of artillery, the enemy carried out an offensive in the direction of the village of Bohorodychne, had no success, and retreated to previous positions.”
Further east, as Ukrainian forces cling onto defensive positions around Severodonetsk, the general staff said Russian forces had enjoyed “partial success” in making slight advances on the ground.
Meanwhile in the south: The general staff said that Russian units in the Zaporizhzhia region were being reinforced by Soviet-era T62 tanks, which appear to have been brought out of storage.
Separately, the Ukrainian military released video and quotes from soldiers operating the US M777 howitzers. They praise its accuracy and range, with one saying, “The enemy feels the effectiveness of our artillery every day and every hour. We are doing everything possible and impossible to surpress and eliminate the enemy and give our infantry a chance for a counter-offensive to liberate our territories.”
Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, has said that the town of Lyman in Donetsk region has fallen to the Russians, “according to unverified reports.”
“The Russian army — this must be checked — captured it,” Arestovych told Ukrainian television.
In a rare admission, Arestovych also said: “The way they captured it shows that there is still a talented commander who correctly organized the operation, which shows the increased level of operational control and tactical skill of the Russian army.”
CNN’s Kostan Nechyporenko contributed reporting to this post.