The Ukrainian navy confirmed its forces had withdrawn from the town of Lysychansk, the final bulwark of Ukrainian resistance within the Luhansk province, one of many two areas that make up the nation’s japanese industrial heartland of Donbas.
The Russians additionally management about half of Donetsk, the second province of Donbas.
Russian forces try to press their offensive deeper into japanese Ukraine after taking management of a key stronghold.
Luhansk governor Serhii Haidai stated Ukrainian forces retreated from Lysychansk to keep away from being surrounded.
“There was a danger of Lysychansk encirclement,” Mr Haidai advised the Related Press, including that Ukrainian troops may have held on for just a few extra weeks however would have probably paid too excessive a worth.
“We managed to do a centralised withdrawal and evacuate all injured,” Mr Haidai stated. “We took again all of the gear, so from this level withdrawal was organised effectively.”
The Normal Employees of the Ukrainian navy stated Russian forces are focusing their efforts on pushing in the direction of the road of Siversk, Fedorivka and Bakhmut within the Donetsk area.
The Russian military has additionally intensified the shelling of key Ukrainian strongholds of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk deeper within the Donetsk area.
On Sunday, six folks, together with a nine-year-old lady, had been killed within the Russian shelling of Sloviansk and one other 19 folks had been wounded, in accordance with native authorities.
Kramatorsk additionally got here underneath fireplace on Sunday.
An intelligence briefing on Monday from the British MoD supported the Ukrainian navy’s evaluation, noting that Russian forces will “now virtually definitely” change to capturing Donetsk.
The briefing stated the battle in Donbas has been “grinding and attritional”, and is unlikely to vary within the coming weeks.
Whereas the Russian military has a large benefit in firepower, navy analysts say that it doesn’t have any vital superiority within the variety of troops.
Meaning Moscow lacks assets for fast land good points and might solely advance slowly, counting on heavy artillery and rocket barrages to melt Ukrainian defences.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has made capturing your entire Donbas a key objective in his struggle in Ukraine, now in its fifth month.