"They do not need people and their houses – they do need only the territory that the enemy turns into a desert," Hayday said, adding that ten enemy attacks had been repulsed in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the past 24 hours.

Read here Russian retreating from Kharkiv, – the Ukrainian armed forces

The Russians appear to have made little progress on the ground after consolidating their control over Rubizhne earlier this week.

Ukrainian forces successfully thwarted the Russian battalion’s river crossing

Ukraine’s military released drone images on May 12 showing the remains of two pontoon bridges with ruins of 73 main battle tanks and armoured vehicles in the Siverskyi Donets River, in the Luhansk region.

From 24th February to 9th May, the total combat losses of Russian troops stand at around 25,650 personnel, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.