Donets, Feb 6 — DAN. Ukrainian gunmen are mining apartment buildings in Artyomovsk in preparation for possible retreat, Donetsk People’s Republic Acting Head Denis Pushilin said on Monday.

“On the Ugledar axis, the enemy’s situation has worsened considerably which prompted Kiev to reassign part of the reserves from the Artyomovsk area of the frontline, ” Pushilin told Russia 24 channel. “The enemy is already mining apartment buildings in case it has to retreat.”

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 town has continued for several months. Western military experts and politicians said Ukrainian army manpower losses run into thousands.*jk