The militia have taken control of a number of populated localities in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in the vicinity of Debaltsevo, head of the Lugansk region state administration Hennadiy Moskal said.
The Ukrainian army retreated from the fierce battle for Vuhlehirsk in early February, and the militia seized control of Lohvynovo, Nikishyno and Ridkodub in the Donetsk region and Mius in the Lugansk region.
The army has also left Chornukhyno in the Popasna district, Moskal said. "The LPR militants came to that town. Chornukhyno occupies an area of 753 hectares; it had a population of over 6,000 in peace time. Contact was lost with the town, which the past few weeks, found itself in within the Debaltseve theater of operations and fighting was taking place in the streets. Multiple attempts to evacuate town residents, who were hiding in basements, failed," the Moskal press service reported.
The Ukrainian army left Debaltsevo on February 19.
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