A railway wagon and sleepers burning after an attack near Lyman station, Ukraine, on April 28. (Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images)
Russian troops have shelled an important railway hub and supply line for Ukrainian troops in the country’s east, according to video footage published on Thursday and Friday.
The video shows railroad trucks on fire in the town of Lyman, a few miles east of Sloviansk, in Donetsk region.
The Russians were trying “to advance from the north of the region, neighbouring Kharkiv region — in the Lyman direction, and do everything possible to get a direct route towards Sloviansk, Kramatorsk, reaching their strategic goals in the Donetsk region,” said Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of Donetsk regional military administration.
Kyrylenko insisted that “the enemy cannot break through. Lyman city is under the Ukrainian Armed Forces control.”
However, he said the Russians were using artillery and airstrikes to wipe out settlements and prevent the Ukrainian defenders from fortifying their positions.
Excluding the city of Mariupol, nearly 1.7 million people had lived in government-controlled parts of Donetsk on the eve of the war, Kyrylenko added. Now there are about 370,000 civilians in the region.
Some background: Lyman has come under bombardment as Russian troops continue their military offensive across Ukraine’s eastern regions.
On Friday, the General Staff of the Armed Forces said that Russian forces are also trying to inflict air strikes in eastern Ukraine.
The Izium area, located in the Kharkiv region, has become a staging ground for Russian forces as they try to advance through neighboring Donetsk and Luhansk. No offensive operations in that area have been conducted in recent hours, said the Ukrainian military.
“The main effort was focused on reconnaissance, identification of defensive positions of the units of the Defense Forces of Ukraine and hitting them with artillery fire,” the General Staff said.
Further southeast, “in order to prevent the redeployment of our troops, the enemy is shelling the positions with artillery, mortars and multiple rocket launchers along the entire line of contact,” it added.
CNN’s Julia Kesaieva contributed reporting to this post.