Live announcements: Russia’s war in Ukraine

A fire broke out on April 28 after a shelling attack near a station in Lyman, in eastern Ukraine. (Yasuoshi Siba / AFP / Getty Images)

According to the Ukrainian military, heavy shelling by Russian forces continues “throughout communication” in the eastern part of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Armed forces generals said Friday that Russian troops were trying to carry out airstrikes in some areas.

The isthmus region of eastern Ukraine, located in the Kharkiv region, has become a stronghold for Russian forces trying to advance through neighboring Donetsk and Luhansk. The Ukrainian military says no offensive has been carried out in the area in recent hours.

“The main effort focused on spying on the defensive positions of the units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces, identifying and launching artillery attacks,” the civil servants said.

Further in the Southeast, it added that “the enemy is in full contact with artillery, mortar and several rocket launchers to prevent the re-deployment of our troops.”

On Thursday, Ukrainian troops in Donetsk and Luhansk “repulsed nine enemy attacks and destroyed six tanks, one artillery and twenty armored vehicles,” civil servants said.

Intersection of Russian routes: CNN reports that an important bridge in southern Ukraine connecting the Russian-occupied Crimea with the Ukrainian city of Melidopol has been destroyed. Melidopol has been captured by Russian forces since early March.

Melidopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov confirmed on Ukrainian television that Ukrainian special forces were responsible for cutting the main bridge.

“Yesterday the troops of our special operation detonated the bridge, which is of great logistical importance to the invaders because with the help of this bridge they carried military equipment to the stations of Melidopol and Novopotnivka,” he said.

Fedorov accused the Russian occupiers of “mass abduction” and said they were “kidnapping” people of forced age. This allegation cannot be confirmed independently.

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