The Ministry of Defense reported that pro-Russian separatist forces, with the support of artillery and aviation, occupied Klishchevka in the Donetsk region.
Klishchevka, which had a population of about 500 before Moscow sent its forces into Ukraine, is located southwest of Bakhmut, indicating that Russian forces are trying to surround the city.
Russia launched its offensive to occupy this important industrial center last year, but it did not make great strides.
Last week, the Russian Defense Ministry and the Wagner paramilitary group confirmed their control of Solidar, northeast of Bakhmut.
Today, the ministry said it had also “liberated” the village of Lubkov in the southern Zaporizhia region.
“In the direction of Zaporizhia, the intensity of hostilities has sharply increased,” said the head of the regional occupation authority, Vladimir Rogov, via Telegram. “If you look at the entire front line, you will find fighting everywhere,” he told the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
For his part, Rogov said that “there is still no offensive in Oregev (the main town next to Lubkov), but fighting is going on in its outskirts.”
The line of contact between the Ukrainian and Russian armies in the Zaporizhia region has been stable for months and there has been no major fighting, unlike the situation in Donetsk in the east and Kherson in the south.
According to a Ukrainian army morning bulletin, “more than 20 cities” this Thursday “were hit by Russian tank, mortar and artillery fire.”
Zaporizhia and Donetsk are two of four Ukrainian regions that Russian President Vladimir Putin declared in September to be annexed to Russia. The Kremlin pledged to use all available means to expel Ukrainian forces from these areas.
“Hardcore alcohol maven. Hipster-friendly analyst. Introvert. Devoted social media advocate.”