Russian attempts to occupy the towns of Popasna and Rubyzhne in the eastern Ukraine region of Luhansk have been unsuccessful.
In a statement Friday morning, the Ukrainian army said that it had repulsed eight Russian attacks in the region in the past 24 hours.
The Ukrainian army says it has destroyed four Russian tanks, six armoured vehicles and Russian artillery, among other things. However, the claims cannot be independently verified. Since the withdrawal from Kyiv, Russian forces have been preparing for attacks in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, which together form the Donbas.
ON THURSDAY, a US government official told the AFP news agency that continued rain in the Donbas region is slowing the Russian advance. Due to the precipitation, the ground is soft, making it difficult for Russian troops to move outside the paved highways. That increases the vulnerability to Ukrainian attacks.
The official said Russia appears to be increasing pressure to achieve a number of “tangible goals” in the Donbas over the next two weeks.