Russian forces have taken control of three Donetsk region towns including Svitlodarsk, regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko told a local affiliate of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Russian-backed Donetsk People’s Republic said in a post on the Telegram messaging service that its forces had taken control of the town and replaced the Ukrainian flag with a Russian flag.
Svitlodarsk is 80 kilometers southwest of Sievierodonetsk, the focus of Russian attacks in recent days.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy warned that Moscow was seeking to destroy the industrial Donbas region where it has focused its attacks.
Russia is attempting to seize the separatist-claimed Donbas’ two provinces, Donetsk and Luhansk, and trap Ukrainian forces in a pocket on the main eastern front.