• Russian troops advancing in Slovyansk were forced to withdraw following a Ukrainian counteroffensive
  • The UAF General Staff said the Russian army continues to suffer massive losses
  • The General Staff added that reports of Russian soldiers deserting the war have increased

Russian soldiers were forced to retreat from their positions in Donetsk after the Ukrainian army inflicted heavy losses, according to a report.

Russian troops advancing in the Slovyansk direction in the Kramatorsk district of the Donetsk region were forced to withdraw after a Ukrainian counteroffensive inflicted losses among their ranks. The Russians were accused of using barrels, jet artillery and tanks to shell several settlements in the city, including Dibrovne, Dolyna, Chepil, Adamivka and Nova Dmytrivka, stated the report published by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (UAF).

Russian soldiers who tried to advance in the direction of Hryhorivka, Spirne and Ivano-Daryivka also “retreated in disorder” after suffering significant losses in a fight against the Ukrainian army, the report said.

"Ukrainian soldiers inflicted significant losses on the occupiers when they tried to advance in the direction of Hryhorivka, Spirne, and Ivano-Daryivka. The enemy retreated in disorder," it stated.

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The UAF General Staff added that the Russian army is continuing to suffer massive losses in manpower and equipment and noted that reports of desertion of Russian soldiers have increased five months into the war.

According to estimates from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, more than 38,550 Russian soldiers had been killed in the war as of Tuesday.

It is unclear how many Russian military personnel have deserted the war in Ukraine. Since the start of the war in February, Russia has been plagued with reports of soldiers and commanders fleeing from the frontline amid massive losses among their ranks.

On Tuesday, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine released a recording of an intercepted phone call where a Russian soldier’s wife said they received reports of conscripts jumping out of moving trucks to avoid being deployed in the war.

On Saturday, Corporal Ilya Kamisky, a Russian paratrooper, told the U.S.-funded Current Time news channel that their military leadership have locked up 10 of his comrades for refusing to be deployed in Ukraine.

"They're kept locked up in the garage, they're locked outside," he said, as quoted by The New Voice of Ukraine. "They're fed once a day with some kind of gruel, tomorrow they will be sent to a pretrial detention center."

The paratrooper added that his comrades had repeatedly sent resignation letters to their leaders, but none were accepted.

Ukrainian soldiers inspect a destroyed warehouse reportedly targeted by Russian troops on outskirts of eastern Lysychansk
Ukrainian soldiers inspect a destroyed warehouse reportedly targeted by Russian troops on outskirts of eastern Lysychansk AFP / ARIS MESSINIS