Russia’s forces advancing near Ukraine’s Vugledar: Moscow-installed offical

Russia’s forces advancing near Ukraine’s Vugledar: Moscow-installed offical

A Moscow proxy official said Monday that Russian forces were advancing near Vugledar, a town in in the eastern Donetsk region, which is the epicentre of fighting in Ukraine.

“Our units continue advancing in the direction of Vugledar,” said Denis Pushilin, the Kremlin-appointed leader of the Donetsk region, according to Russian news agencies.

“Now we can say that units have established positions in the eastern part of Vugledar, and work is also being carried out in the vicinity,” he added.

Ukraine’s forces have “had time to gain a foothold” in Vugledar and “given the large number of industrial facilities and high-rise buildings, of course, we assume that the enemy will resist,” he added.

Kyiv said last week that “fierce” fighting was underway for control of Vugledar, a town that used to have a population of around 15,000.

Vugledar is about 150 kilometres (93 miles) south of Bakhmut, where months of fighting have led to heavy losses on both sides.

Pushilin said that “fierce battles” were ongoing near Bakhmut but that it was “too early” to talk about the encirclement of the city.

Kremlin-backed separatists have controlled parts of the industrial region of Donetsk, including its largest city, since 2014.

Moscow now seeks to capture the entire region after declaring it part of Russia last year.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday the situation on the front was “very tough”, adding that Bakhmut, Vugledar and other areas in Donetsk region are “under constant Russian attacks”.

“The enemy doesn’t count its people and, despite numerous casualties, maintains a high intensity of attacks,” Zelensky said in his evening address.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French state-owned international news agency based in Paris. It is the world's oldest news agency, having been founded in 1835 as Havas.

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