The Ukrainian military has claimed that Russian units have "suffered significant losses in manpower and equipment" as they try to advance westwards to the borders of Luhansk and Donetsk regions, according to a spokesman for the General Staff of the Armed Forces.
"In some areas, the staffing of [Russian] units, as a consequence of hostilities, is less than 20%," the armed forces general staff said late Sunday.
"In the Popasna direction, due to heavy losses and the inability to act independently, airborne troops of the armed forces of the Russian Federation are teaming up with representatives of Russian private military companies for further action," claimed Oleksandr Shtupun, the general staff spokesman.
The ruins of Popasna fell to Russian forces earlier this month but they appear to have taken little ground in the area since.
The Russians have also been trying to push south from Izium for several weeks, and the general staff said Sunday that they were trying unsuccessfully to conduct offensive and assault operations towards two villages south of the town
The military also said that Russian forces north and east of the city of Kharkiv were trying to defend their positions to "prevent the advance of our troops to the State Border of Ukraine," while continuing to shell towns and villages recently recaptured by Ukraine.