Ukraine’s army said on Sunday its forces repelled an attack in the Blahodatne area in the eastern part of the Donetsk region, while Russia’s Wagner private military group said it had seized control of the village.
“Units of the Defense Forces of Ukraine repelled the attacks of the occupiers in the areas of… Blahodatne… in the Donetsk region,” the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in its daily morning briefing, referring to the fighting on Saturday.
He added that his forces repelled Russian attacks in the areas of 13 other settlements in the Donetsk region.
The Wagner Group, designated by the United States as a transnational criminal organization, said on Saturday on the Telegram messaging app that its units had taken control of Blahodatne.
Reuters was unable to independently verify the reports.
With fighting intensifying in the Donetsk region, the exact line of contact is unclear, especially around the town of Bakhmut, where some of the heaviest fighting of the war has been taking place in recent weeks. The Wagner Group has made claims of premature success before.
Ukraine has said that the Russian offensive in Bakhmut is not over, but the situation on the front line has become increasingly difficult. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Friday that it was acute.
Four civilians were killed, one in Bakhmut, and 17 wounded in Russian strikes in the region on Saturday, Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of the Donetsk region, said on the Telegram messaging app.
Ukraine has won over promises of Western main battle tanks and is seeking fighter jets to push back Russian and pro-Moscow forces, which are advancing slowly along part of the front line.
On Saturday, Zelenskyy’s top aide said accelerated talks were underway between Ukraine and its allies over their requests for long-range missiles to prevent Russia from destroying Ukrainian cities.