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Russian forces have captured two towns near the besieged towns of Lysychansk and Syevyerodonetsk in the Lugansk region, the Ukrainian army announced on June 21.

The captured towns – Pidlisne and Myrna Dolyna – are in the direction of Toshkivka-Pidlisne, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in his evening report.

The Ukrainian command also said Russian forces had “partial success” in the Horske area and towards Bila Hor, while Ukrainian soldiers managed to repel an assault towards Vysokiy.

Ukraine confirmed earlier that Russia had taken the frontline village of Toshkivka.

Russian forces have caused ‘catastrophic’ damage as they continue to shell Lysychansk and its sister city of Syevyerodonetsk in eastern Ukraine, where the situation has become ‘extremely difficult’, Ukrainian officials said earlier .

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Ukrainian defenders clung to the Azot chemical plant in the city. About 500 civilians are sheltering in the plant, and Luhansk region military governor Serhiy Hayday said in an interview with The Associated Press that Russian forces were turning the area “into rubble”.

The Ukrainian command also said its forces repelled a reconnaissance attempt in and around Metyolkine, which Ukraine confirmed on June 20 had been captured by the Russians.

Kharkiv regional state administration chief Oleh Synegubov said at least 15 civilians were killed in the region by Russian shelling on June 21.

Six died in and around Kharkiv and another six in Chuhuiv, about 40 kilometers southeast of Kharkiv, Synegubov said. Three died in Zolochiv, 40 kilometers northwest of the city.

The Ukrainian command reports Russian shelling of settlements in Kramatorsk, Bakhmut, Avdiyivka, Novopavlovsk and Zaporizhzhya.

Russian troops are regrouping and consolidating units in the Donetsk region. The Ukrainian command said this was “due to heavy casualties”. The claim could not be independently verified.

As Russia has concentrated its firepower on the Donbass, advanced Western weapons systems donated to Ukraine have begun to make their mark elsewhere on the front line, British military intelligence said in its daily bulletin. 21st of June.

Ukrainian forces claimed their first successful use of Harpoon anti-ship missiles last week, the UK Ministry of Defense said. Twitter.

“The target of the attack was almost certainly the Russian naval tug Spasatel Vasily Bekh, which was delivering weapons and personnel to Snake Island in the northwest Black Sea,” he said, adding that the Ukraine had largely neutralized Russia’s ability to establish control in the northwest. Black Sea.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said its missiles hit an airfield near the Ukrainian port of Odessa in response to a Ukrainian attack on gas production platforms in the Black Sea, Russian news agencies reported. The attack was aimed at destroying hangars in which drones were stored, TASS reported, citing the ministry.

Ukraine said an attack launched on June 20 targeted an oil drilling platform it said was being used by Russian troops as a military installation.

The attack was the first of its kind against offshore energy infrastructure since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

Serhiy Bratchuk, spokesman for the Odessa regional military administration, told an online briefing that Russia had organized small garrisons and stored equipment at the platform.

On June 20, Russia accused Ukraine of firing at an oil rig in the Black Sea off the Crimean peninsula, leaving three injured and seven others missing.

Olga Kovitidi, a lawmaker in the Russian-installed government in annexed Crimea, later said two other platforms were also hit.

At least one strike was confirmed by Bratchuk, who said the rigs were “legal military targets”.

Bratchuk also said Ukrainian forces had “dealt a heavy blow to the Russian garrison” on Snake Island, a Black Sea territory taken by Moscow at the start of its offensive.

But he acknowledged that the Russian Black Sea Fleet still dominated the region.

With reports from Reuters, AFP and TASS

Rose D. Jones