Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) and Russian Federation (RF) ground units were locked in a chain of pitched battles along the Donbas front, with both sides claiming success and small gains at some locations.

The most severe ground fighting was reported in Lyman, a village controlling possible crossings of the Siviersky Donets River in the north of the Donbas sector, and in Popasna, in the Donbas’ sector’s far east. According to UAF sources, Ukrainian units were holding their ground and inflicting serious losses against heavy RF pressure. According to RF sources  RF infantry backed by “volunteer” paramilitary police units from the DLPR were locked in battle with the UAF, and slowly advancing.

According to RF sources, UAF units were attempting to force a crossing of the Siviersky Donets River near the village Protopovka. RF artillery was firing on the UAF units as they advanced, a Readkova news platform statement said. A 0600 statement by Ukraine’s Army General Staff (AGS) said Ukrainian units had shifted to the attack in the Izium sector, without offering details.


Serhiy Haidai, head of the Luhansk regional defense command, said that RF ground units were attempting to clear UAF-held buildings in the village Voevodivka and Rubizhne, on the outskirts of Severodonetsk. Fighting was intense with positions changing hands sometimes by the hour, Haidai said in a statement. Chechen units had full control of Voevodivka, and “heavy fighting” also was in progress in the nearby village Kreminna, Readkova said.

Haidai said RF ground units were battling to to establish full control over Popasna. RF sources said much the same thing. An AGS statement said UAF artillery in Severodonetsk and Avdievka exchanged fire with RF artillery in the vicinity, but observed no ground attacks.

In Mariupol, news video and reports from defenders confirmed continued RF air bombings and artillery strikes across the entire surface of the Azovstal’ steel mill. According to RF media infantry attacks to break into the plant’s underground defensive system were proceeding. Ukrainian media reported the RF ground attacks were repulsed.


According to Ukrainian news reports, 500 civilians were evacuated from the factory premises on Thursday. Reportedly 1-2,000 UAF defenders, hundreds of them wounded to some degree, remain in fighting positions on the surface and below the ground of the Azovstal’ premises.

Friday intelligence estimate published by the British Defense Ministry said RF units would likely face crippling casualties if ordered to fight their way into the UAF defenses at the Azovstal’ plant. According to RF state-controlled news reports, occupation authorities in Mariupol are planning a parade in the city on May 9, to celebrate the anniversary of the end of fighting in Europe during World War Two, and to mark purported full RF control of the Azov Sea port city.


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