Ukraine’s military conceded Thursday that its forces had been overrun by Russian-backed separatist forces in another town in their battle to hold onto a strategically valuable railway hub.
A soldier wounded in combat for the town, Vuhlehirsk, said armored vehicles and tanks were used in the attack on government positions, forcing a hasty retreat.
Defense Ministry spokesman Vladislav Seleznyov said fighting is now under way to expel the rebels from Vuhlehirsk.
“We are trying to push the enemy out of the town,” he said.
The loss of full control over town will further complicate efforts to resist the onslaught on Debaltseve, a nearby railway hub that sits between the two main rebel-held cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.