Russian forces have made further progress in the eastern region of Donetsk, where they have been shelling areas south of the town of Bakhmut for several weeks, according to the Ukrainian military.
In an operational update on Thursday, the Ukrainian army general staff said Russian forces were trying to advance towards Bakhmut from the south and east.
Russian forces had “partial success” in the Vidrodzhennia-Vershyna direction and dug in southeast of the Vershyna settlement, the update said.
Vershyna is about 10 kilometers (6 miles) southeast of Bakhmut. Earlier this week the Russians took the nearby village of Novoluhankse and an adjacent power station.
Blocked Russian advances: However, the General Staff said attacks from four different directions towards Bakhmut had been repelled.
He said the Russians continued to use a wide variety of weapons, including tank fire, airstrikes and artillery, across the front lines in Donetsk.
The Russians struck several settlements north of Sloviansk in a bid to break through Ukrainian defenses and advance, although two such advances attempted on Wednesday were repelled, the General Staff said.
The General Staff also said it was using drones to establish Ukrainian troop positions as Russian artillery continued to fire on settlements around the northeastern city of Kharkiv.
Overview of the battlefield: The General Staff considered that Russia was concentrating its main efforts on “establishing full control over the territories of Luhansk and Donetsk” and maintaining the captured region of southern Kherson and parts of Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia and Mykolayiv.
Russia was blocking Ukraine’s maritime communications in the Black Sea, he added.