Ukraine says its military is putting up fierce resistance to Russian forces trying to advance through the eastern Donbas region, inflicting significant losses on Moscow's armies.
The head of the Luhansk region military administration, Serhiy Hayday, says Ukrainian fighters are putting up stiff resistance.
“We restrain the enemy on the border of Luhansk region and Donetsk region — the occupiers are suffering significant losses, as they themselves admit,” Hayday said. “Every day, the Russians receive an order to advance further, but they do not always carry it out, because the losses in personnel are very significant.
“During the assault of Lysychansk alone, the enemy lost thousands of dead and wounded. Yes, they have more forces and means, but the Ukrainian army is better prepared and motivated.”
The Russian Ministry of Defense does not regularly report the number of dead and injured among its forces and CNN could not independently verify Hayday’s claims about Russian casualties. However, independent analysts and observers, including some pro-Russian bloggers, have criticized the effort made by Moscow to capture the city of Lysychansk, saying it was too costly.
Ukraine needs weapons support: Hayday called for additional supplies of Western weapons to help balance the fight.
“When there is more long-range weapons, the advantage of the enemy in personnel will be leveled,” he said.
Russian forces now occupy most of the Luhansk region, barring a few pockets of resistance, and are pressing toward the Donetsk cities of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.
Pushback against Russia: Russian shelling targeted Ukrainian military positions in Luhansk “near Lysychansk in the direction of Bakhmut,” according to the Ukrainian military General Staff. In the neighboring Donetsk region, “the entire territory of the region,” was targeted, including Sloviansk, killing six civilians and wounding 21, the General Staff added.
Hayday said Russian attempts to push toward Donetsk and to cut the Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway that passes by Bilohorivka, were repelled by Ukrainian forces.
“The enemy was forced to retreat under the pressure of our fighters,” Hayday said.