Ukrainian forces largely in control of key road in the east, says Kyiv

Ukrainian forces now aim to seize the Russian-occupied towns of Svatove and Kreminna.

A Ukrainian serviceman fires with a mortar toward Russian positions, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in a frontline in Mykolaiv region, Ukraine, October 28, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/VALENTYN OGIRENKO)
A Ukrainian serviceman fires with a mortar toward Russian positions, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in a frontline in Mykolaiv region, Ukraine, October 28, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/VALENTYN OGIRENKO)

Ukrainian troops are largely in control of a key road that links two Russian-occupied districts in the east of the country, pro-Kyiv officials said on Friday.

After taking swathes of territory in a lightning offensive, Ukrainian forces are now slowly pushing their way east into the Luhansk region and aim to seize the Russian-occupied towns of Svatove and Kreminna, which lies 45 km (28 miles) south of Svatove. The towns are the primary settlements in districts of the same names.

“The road from Svatove to Kreminna is practically under the control of the armed forces of Ukraine. Our soldiers are advancing daily.”

Serhiy Gaidai, governor of the Luhansk region

"The road from Svatove to Kreminna is practically under the control of the armed forces of Ukraine. Our soldiers are advancing daily," Serhiy Gaidai, governor of the Luhansk region, told national television.

A Russian-backed separatist official on Wednesday reported heavy fighting in the Kreminna and Svatove districts, which have been at the frontline since Ukrainian forces routed Russian troops from the neighboring Kharkiv region in September.

Ukrainian forces reclaim Nevske

Separately, Ukraine's military intelligence directorate said its agents, fighting alongside regular troops, had captured the village of Nevske on Sunday, killing 34 Russians. Nevske is 10 km (6 miles) west of the road linking Svatove and Kreminna.

A Ukrainian serviceman passes a mortar shell to his mate, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, at a position in a frontline in Mykolaiv region, Ukraine, October 28, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/VALENTYN OGIRENKO)A Ukrainian serviceman passes a mortar shell to his mate, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, at a position in a frontline in Mykolaiv region, Ukraine, October 28, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/VALENTYN OGIRENKO)

A daily report from the general staff of the Ukrainian armed forces made no mention of either Svatove or Kreminna. The update, posted on Facebook, said Russian forces had shelled dozens of targets along much of the front line.