Mon. Aug 15th, 2022

As heavy fighting continues in the east, a Ukrainian presidential adviser has acknowledged serious losses – but said Russia’s were even worse.

Oleksiy Arestovych said Ukraine had lost control of some towns and villages – but claimed Russia’s own casualties had been “colossal”.

Arestovych said Russia was losing a company of troops every day, according to remarks quoted by the UNIAN news agency.

He said his soldiers were continuing to conduct a successful defensive operation.

It was not possible to independently verify the claims.

Earlier this month, Russia conceded that it had suffered “significant losses” of troops during its invasion – but has not been frequently updating its numbers.

Meanwhile, the civilian toll continues to mount as fighting in the east of Ukraine rages on.

The regional governor of Luhansk – part of the Donbas – has again urged remaining civilians to leave.

Meanwhile, police in the Donetsk region say three people were killed and six wounded over the past day during Russian strikes.

And the north-eastern Kharkiv region continues to see heavy fighting as well. Officials there say five civilians were killed in the latest shelling.

Russian forces are continuing to make advances in east of the country but strong resistance from Ukrainian troops is slowing their progress.

In the latest developments Russian forces continue to make small gains around eastern city of Izyum, but strong Ukrainian defences in Donbas region are holding for now.

The UK’s Ministry of Defence said on Friday the battle for Donbas, in the east, remained Russia’s main strategic focus. It said fighting had been particularly heavy around Lysychansk and Severodonetsk, and there had been an attempted advance south towards Slovyansk.

The devastated port city of Mariupol, which has been encircled since the start of March, is now mostly under the control of Russian forces – although several hundred Ukrainian troops remain in the Azovstal metal works factory in the south of the city.

Russian forces have blockaded the sprawling industrial complex and are continuing their aerial bombardment of it, but no attempt has been made yet to clear Ukrainian troops from a network of tunnels beneath the factory.

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