Donetsk, Jan 25 — DAN. Russian forces have been taking new positions in Artyomovsk residential areas, Donetsk People’s Republic Acting Head Denis Pushilin said on the sidelines of the “Revival Leaders. DPR” contest on Wednesday.

“Fierce fighting is ongoing in Artyomovsk. ‘Wagner’ (Group) units are making gains in the town area, ” Russia’s TASS news agency quoted Pushilin as saying. “The clashes are taking place in the outskirts and neighborhoods that were under enemy control just a short while ago.”

Artyomovsk is a large district center and a fortified area of the Ukrainian army north of Gorlovka. It has been occupied by Ukrainian forces since 2014. The prewar Artyomovsk had machine building, metallurgical and construction companies. The Artyomovsk Champagne Wines Factory is one of the largest in Eastern Europe.

Fierce fighting for the city has continued for several months. Western military experts and politicians said that Ukrainian army manpower losses had run into thousands.*jk