Ukrainian forces repelled a new Russian assault near the town of Vuhledar in eastern Donetsk region and continued its attempt to press forward in the south, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Thursday.
Vuhledar, a Ukrainian-held bastion at a strategic intersection between the eastern and southern front lines, has seen some of the bloodiest fighting of the 20-month-old full-scale war.
“There was an attempt by the enemy to advance in the Vuhledar direction, but our soldiers stopped it, causing heavy losses to the enemy: dozens of pieces of equipment, many killed and wounded,” he said on Telegram messenger.
Reuters could not independently verify his battlefield account. The Ukrainian military has said the fighting has escalated along the eastern front in recent weeks.
The military said Russia was trying to regroup and recover from its losses near the eastern city of Avdiivka before launching more attacks.
“The enemy continues to try to encircle Avdiivka, but now not so actively – the enemy is trying to regroup and recover losses in order to attack further,” said Oleksandr Shtupun, spokesman for Ukraine’s Tavria military command.
Russia renewed a push to encircle the embattled town in mid-October, trying to overwhelm Ukrainian positions with constant barrages of artillery and waves of troops and fighting vehicles, according to local and military authorities in Ukraine.