Sergei Gaidai said that Russian forces had taken control of the Lossotivka and Ray-Olkandrievka sites, south of Lyschansk and Severodonetsk, in eastern Ukraine.
The Ukrainian official did not provide further details, but stressed that the Ukrainian forces will continue to defend Severodonetsk and nearby areas such as Zolote and Vovsherovka.
This development comes a day after Kyiv announced that the Russian bombing of these areas was very intense, which made them a “hell”.
The Russians are advancing in 3 directions towards Lyschansk, one of which is from Severodonetsk, and the two cities are separated only by the Seversky Donets River.
Lysechansk is seen as a backup outpost that helps the Ukrainians defend against Russian forces.
In recent weeks, these two cities became the focus of the war in Ukraine, and Severodonetsk, the largest city of the Lugansk region in the Donbass region.
Lysichansk is considered the last enclave of the Ukrainian resistance in the Lugansk region, especially after the Russians besieged the city of Severodonetsk and took control of parts of it.
The two cities live in dire conditions, as neither of them has gas or electricity, and between 20 and 100 thousand residents spend most of their time hiding underground.
Since the withdrawal of Russian forces from the vicinity of the capital, Kyiv, in early April, Russian efforts have directed towards the east and south.
Moscow and separatist forces loyal to it control most of the Donetsk region, and seek to complete control of the Donetsk and Lugansk territories, in which the separatists declared “republics” in 2014.