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AFU General Staff: Russia tries to establish control over entire territory of Donetsk, Luhansk regions, keep land corridor to Crimea

KYIV. May 3 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Russian army does not stop offensive operations in the eastern regions of Ukraine, trying to establish full control over the entire territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as to keep the land corridor between these territories and the temporarily occupied Crimea, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said.

According to the Ukrainian servicemen, a group of Russian troops from the sixth Combined Arms Army of the Western Military District, the 41st Combined Arms Army of the Central Military District, and coastal troops of the Baltic and Northern fleets are operating in Slobozhansk direction.

In addition, Russia continues to carry out air strikes and shell the city of Kharkiv with artillery.

"In Izium direction, the enemy, by the forces of individual units from the first Tank Army, the 20th Combined Arms Army of the Western Military District; the 29th, 35th, 36th Combined Arms Armies and the 68th Army Corps of the Eastern Military District and air-landing troops are conducting offensive operations in the direction of Izium-Barvinkove. It incurs losses," the General Staff said.

They said that in order to support their actions, the occupiers moved from the territory of Belgorod region to the city of Izium a battery of heavy self-propelled mortars "Tiulpan" with a caliber of 240 mm and a unit armed with multiple launch missile systems "Smerch."

The Ukrainian servicemen said Russia continues to carry out filtration measures in the temporarily occupied territories of Kharkiv region. For this, units of the Russian Guard are additionally involved.

"In Donetsk and Tavria directions, the grouping of enemy troops, by the forces of individual units of the first and second Army Corps, the eighth and 58th combined arms armies of the Southern Military District; the fifth Combined Arms Army and the Pacific Fleet of the Eastern Military District; the first and 41st combined-arms armies and the 90th tank division of the Central Military District and the airborne troops are conducting offensive operations in a certain section of the collision line. The invaders are carrying out air strikes and artillery shelling of the positions of our troops," the General Staff said.

It is clarified that the main efforts of the enemy continue to focus on the offensive in Lyman, Severodonetsk, Popasna, Avdiyivka and Kurakhove directions in order to take complete control of the settlements of Rubizhne, Popasna and develop the offensive in the directions of Lyman, Siversk and Slovyansk.

"In order to improve the logistical support system, the enemy continues to place warehouses with ammunition, fuel and lubricants in certain areas, and also organized a repair and restoration point for damaged equipment. At the same time, the enemy is equipping a second line of defense at certain lines," the AFU said.

They said that in Tavria direction, the enemy continues to carry out demonstrative actions and maneuvers in order to "fetter the actions of the units of the Defense Forces and prevent them from being transferred to other directions."

At the same time, in Yuzhnobuzhsk direction, the enemy, using the forces of the eighth and 49th combined arms armies, the 22nd army corps, the coastal troops of the Black Sea Fleet of the Southern Military District and the airborne troops, is conducting combat operations in order to improve the tactical situation, continues shelling units our troops. "The enemy is regrouping troops, building up systems of fire destruction, air defense and logistics," the General Staff said.