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KIEV – Russia announced Wednesday that its troops had breached two fortified lines of the Ukrainian defense line on the Eastern Front.

The Russian Defense Ministry said Ukrainians had withdrawn in the face of Russian attacks in the Luhansk region, but did not give details.

“During the attack… Ukrainian forces have retreated randomly to a distance of up to 3km from the previously occupied front,” the ministry said on Telegram’s messaging app.

“Even the enemy’s more fortified second line of defense could not hold the Russian breakthrough.”

The office of President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukrainian forces had repelled a Russian offensive in Luhansk, but added that “the situation in the region remains difficult.”

The Kremlin has stepped up its offensive across southern and eastern Ukraine in recent weeks, and major new attacks are widely expected.

The main Russian effort is centered on the town of Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast, which borders Luhansk.

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces does not mention a significant setback in Luhansk in its regular morning updates. Ukrainian military units said they had repulsed attacks in more than 20 of his settlements, including Bakhmut and Vkhredal, a town 150 kilometers southwest of Bakhmut.

Zelensky said on Tuesday that Russia is in a hurry to get as much as it can out of the latest push before Ukraine and its allies gain ground.

“That’s why speed is of the essence,” he said as NATO’s defense chiefs met in Brussels for negotiations to continue Wednesday. “It speeds up everything: adoption of decisions, execution of decisions, delivery of supplies, training. Speed ​​saves lives.”

Bakhmut’s capture would serve as a stepping stone for Russia’s advance into two large cities of Donetsk, Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, before the one-year anniversary of the invasion on February 24, after months of setbacks. gave momentum to Russia after

Describing the situation on the Eastern Front in his Tuesday evening speech, Mr Zelensky said: “Fighting is literally on every corner of Ukrainian land.”

Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov said there had been fighting “around every house” in Bakhmut. “The situation is still very difficult, but it is not moving under the control of our troops and the front lines,” he said in a YouTube video.

western support Russia reports battlefield advances, Ukraine calls for faster military aid

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