Russian forces have made further incremental progress in the eastern Donetsk region, where they have been bombarding areas south of the town of Bakhmut for several weeks, according to the Ukrainian military.
In an operational update Thursday, the General Staff of the Ukrainian military said Russian forces were trying to advance toward Bakhmut from the south and east.
Russian forces had “partial success” in the direction of Vidrodzhennia-Vershyna and were entrenched southeast of the settlement of Vershyna, the update said.
Vershyna is about 10 kilometers (6 miles) southeast of Bakhmut. Earlier this week, the Russians took the nearby village of Novoluhankse and an adjacent power plant.
Russian advances blocked: However, the General Staff said attacks from four different directions toward Bakhmut were repelled.
It said that the Russians continue to use a wide variety of weapons, including tank fire, airstrikes and artillery, across the front lines in Donetsk.
The Russians hit several settlements north of Sloviansk in order to break down Ukrainian defenses and advance, although two such advances attempted Wednesday had been repelled, the General Staff said.
The General Staff also said it is using drones to establish the positions of Ukrainian troops as Russian artillery continues to fire on settlements around the northeastern city of Kharkiv.
Battlefield overview: The General Staff assessed that Russia was focusing its main efforts on “establishing full control over the territories of Luhansk and Donetsk,” and maintaining the captured southern Kherson region and parts of Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, and Mykolayiv.
Russia was blocking Ukraine’s maritime communications in the Black Sea, it added.