Ukrainian forces have made further gains in the eastern Donetsk region, according to geolocated social media video and reports by a Russian military blogger in the area.
Social media videos showed a contingent of Ukrainian troops raising the national flag in the town of Novoselivka, and geolocated video shows Ukrainian military vehicles moving through the nearby district of Zelena Dolnya.
In Novoselivka, one of the soldiers says, "Today, the Armed Forces of Ukraine — the 81st brigade, together with the National Guard of Ukraine, liberated the settlement of Novoselivka."
These gains indicate that a pocket of territory still held by pro-Russian forces in and around the town of Lyman is at greater risk of being surrounded. The Ukrainians already control territory to the west and south of the town and are now advancing north of it.
A military blogger, Semyon Pegov, with Russian forces to the east of Lyman, reported from the village of Torske Wednesday that the situation was becoming more tense every day. Pegov, who goes by the name WarGonzo, said in a video report that on Tuesday night groups of Ukrainian troops had carried out probing attacks in the area.
Were Ukrainian units to take Torske, an unknown number of pro-Russian units —mainly from the Donetsk People's Militia — would effectively be cut off in Lyman.
What Russia is saying: The Russian state news agency RIA Novosti quoted the Russian Defense Ministry as saying Wednesday that Ukrainian troops had suffered losses in an unsuccessful attempt to attack Lyman. It claimed that "the losses of the 66th and 93rd mechanized brigades [were] more than 70 people killed, four tanks, six infantry fighting vehicles and three armored vehicles."
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said repeatedly that taking all of Donetsk region is one of the main goals of the special military operation begun in February, but so far this month the Russians and their allies have lost more ground in the region than they have gained.