Saturday’s rapid advance did not end with Izium, as Ukraine appeared to have opened a new front against Russian defenses along the border of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Serhiy Hayday, head of the Luhansk regional military administration, indicated that the city of Lysychansk was the target of the new attack.
Lysisansk The last city in eastern Ukraine’s Luhansk region fell under Russian control in July, after weeks of fierce fighting. Hayday told CNN on Saturday that “collaborators and the occupiers, including the military, are running fast.”
“Locals have videos and photos to prove it,” Hade said. He said he could not share visual evidence for security reasons.
“People from Svatov, Staropilsk, Novobskov are trying to go to the Milov border with Russia, not to Luhansk,” he added.
CNN was unable to verify Hayday’s claim, but has seen vehicles forming a line at at least one border crossing into Russia.
Hayde also told CNN that the Russians had failed to build a defensive line in Luhansk. “Svatov, Staropilsk – this is an open rural village, so there is nowhere to hide.”
He said that Russian forces were leaving the city of Svyatov. If true, this would be significant as Svatov is a key link in Russian supply lines to parts of the occupied Luhansk region.
In another sign of Ukrainian developments, Denis Bushilin, head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, acknowledged that the situation in northern Donetsk was “very difficult”.
Pushilin said on his Telegram channel that in the town of Lyman, not far from the Ukrainian-controlled city of Sloviansk, “the situation is very difficult, as in many settlements in the north of the republic.”
“However, I am in touch with local administrations, emergency services and our units. There is more information, but we cannot disclose it now because it will harm our units,” he said.