While attention is focused on advances in Kharkiv, Russia’s forces continue to exploit Ukraine’s weaknesses elsewhere, in particular along a stretch of the frontline west of the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk.

Since Russia captured the industrial town of Avdiivka in February, its forces have taken advantage of Kyiv’s acute shortage in artillery ammunition, as well as manpower deficiencies, by pushing into a series of towns and villages.

Ukraine’s General Staff, in its Tuesday morning update, hinted clearly at further tactical withdrawals in the area around the village of Ocheretyne – which was captured by Russian troops earlier this month.

“In order to save the lives of our defenders, the positions of the Defense Forces were changed in some areas due to intense enemy fire,” the General Staff reported.

The DeepStateMap monitoring group shows small Russian advances most days in the area, each one moving them a little closer to the town of Pokrovsk, a key military hub for logistics and supplies along the entire eastern part of the frontline.

Further to the west, Ukrainian forces are also coming under pressure southeast of Zaporizhzhia, one of the few areas where they achieved success, albeit modest in size, in last summer’s counteroffensive.

Both Russian military bloggers and Ukraine’s DeepStateMap report small Russian advances into a pocket of re-captured Ukrainian territory between the villages of Robotyne and Verbove.

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