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Ukraine Confirms ‘Retreat' from District in Strategic Chasiv Yar

The city of Chasiv Yar in March 2024. National Police of Ukraine

Ukraine said Thursday its forces have withdrawn from a district in the town of Chasiv Yar in eastern Ukraine, where Russian forces have recently claimed several advances.

Losing the small hilltop town is a worrying prospect for Ukraine because it would likely accelerate Russia's advance toward large civilian hubs in the Donetsk region.

"It became impractical to hold the Kanal district, which the enemy had entered, because it threatened the lives and well-being of our soldiers," a Ukrainian military spokesman, Nazar Voloshyn, said on state-run television.

"Our defenders' positions had been destroyed. The command decided to retreat to better protected and prepared positions," Voloshyn added.

Russia had said earlier this week that its forces had advanced around Chasiv Yar. But it was unclear whether Moscow was claiming its forces had crossed a canal that runs through the eastern part of the town.

Chasiv Yar – a prized military hub that was once a sleepy home to some 12,000 people – lies near the larger towns of Kostyantynivka and Kramatorsk, both of which are important military 

The Donetsk region has borne the brunt of the fighting after Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February 2022. The Kremlin says the industrial region is Russian territory. 

Kremlin-supported separatist forces have controlled parts of Donetsk since 2014.

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