The Russian Defense Ministry announced the start of an offensive against the city of Ugledar in the Donetsk region, while the Ukrainian army said it was still standing.
“The units of the eastern flank continued their advance, taking advantage of many positions and causing damage to the 1st Ukrainian tank brigade near the city of Ugledar,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Tuesday.
Denis Pushilin, the head of the Russian-appointed Donetsk Oblast government, also announced that Russian units had entered offensive positions in the eastern region of Ugledar and surrounding areas, starting an operation to attack the city.
According to Pushilin, the battle in Ugledar will be difficult, as Ukrainian forces have had time to build a line. At the same time, the city also has “a large number of industrial facilities and high-rise buildings” favorable for defensive operations.
Meanwhile, Yevgen Yerin, spokesman for the Ukrainian military forces in charge of the region, said that the first wave of Russian attacks on UIgledar was unsuccessful. “The enemy was attacked with guns and artillery, forced to retreat,” Yerin said. “We still hold the fighting position.”
Ukraine last week said “heavy” fighting was underway for control of Ugledar, a city of about 15,000 people before the war. Ugledar is about 150 kilometers south of Bakhmut, where months of fighting resulted in heavy losses on both sides.
Since 2014, Russian -backed separatists have controlled parts of the industrial province of Donetsk, including the region’s largest city. After announcing its annexation last year, Russia is seeking control over the entire Donetsk region.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on January 29 that the situation on the eastern front was ” very difficult, “with Bakhmut, Ugledar, and other areas in Donetsk “under constant attack by Russia.” “Despite suffering many casualties, the enemy maintained a high intensity of the attack,” Zelensky said.