Amid intensifying fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine, forces from the breakaway Donetsk region confirmed today, Friday, that they are advancing with Russian army units towards the northern city of Slaviansk.
A post published by the Ministry of Defense of the breakaway republic on Telegram stated that the forces of the Lugansk region, with the support of fire from the Russian army, have taken control of 235 residential communities in the Vladimirovka, Stavki and Libovoy regions, indicating their advance towards Slaviansk, according to the Russian Tass Agency.
control of the entire Lugansk
In parallel, Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Oleksandr Motozyanek said on Friday that Russia is looking for weaknesses in Ukrainian defenses near the Seversky Donets River in the eastern part of the country.
He told state television that Russian forces had not abandoned attempts to carry out forays into theareaaccording to the Reuters news agency.
He also added that the situation is calmer in southern Ukraine, where Russia is trying to extend its dominion over the region it occupies, from Kherson to Zaporizhia.
If Russia takes the river cities of Severodonetsk and Lysechhansk, it will control the rest of Lugansk, one of two breakaway regions in the Donbas region that Russia claims for separatists.
Industrial area and resort
Interestingly, Slavyansk is a city located in the north of Donetsk and has been under the control of Kiev since 2014.
An important transport hub, industrial center and place of mud therapy, it had about 107,000 inhabitants before the Russian military operation.
In Slaviansk and neighboring Kramatorsk, the Ukrainian armed forces have established an important fortified stronghold with aarea more than 170 square kilometers with large stocks of weapons, ammunition, fuel, lubricants and foodstuffs, according to TASS.
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