Ukraine: Pro-Russian separatists claim gains near Bakhmout in the east

Ukraine: Pro-Russian separatists claim gains near Bakhmout in the east


Pro-Russian separatists fighting alongside Moscow's forces in Ukraine on Friday claimed the capture of three villages near the eastern town of Bakhmout, early gains in the face of hardship on others fronts. 

According to the account of the fighters of the separatist stronghold of Donetsk on Telegram, these captured villages are those of Otradivka, Vessela Dolyna and Zaïtsevé. 

The Russian army had announced the capture of Zaitseve the day before in its daily report.

These three villages are located south of the city of Bakhmout controlled by Ukrainian forces, and that the he Russian army has been trying to take without success for months.

These gains are the first announced by the forces of Moscow, in difficulty in the face of a counter-offensive by Ukrainian troops launched in early September.

This Ukrainian assault made it possible to retake most of the Kharkiv region in the northeast, several hundred square kilometers in that of Kherson in the south, and in particular the logistics hub of Lyman in the east, where Russian troops narrowly escaped an encirclement.

Donetsk separatist leader Denis Pushilin said on Friday that the situation near Lyman remained “the most difficult” in the region, Russian troops building a line of defense near the Kreminna further east.

“The enemy is testing our line of defense night and day, and you could say that the line of defense front is stabilizing there,” he explained, quoted by the Russian news agency TASS.

“I think that we have every chance of accumulating forces and starting to liberate territories with new reserves”, he added, announcing the dispatch of reinforcements, but without saying where they came from and if they were reservists mobilized by the Ru ssie to try to stop the multiple Ukrainian advances.