Bitter fighting in eastern Ukraine continues. Ukraine complains about an “extremely difficult situation at the front.” And: A Russian helicopter has penetrated the airspace over Estonia. You can find all the news about the attack on Ukraine in the ticker.

10.30 a.m .: According to Ukrainian sources, the Russian armed forces heavily bombed the eastern Ukrainian city of Lysychansk during the night from Tuesday to Wednesday. “They are shelling Lysychansk with artillery, rockets, aerial bombs, rocket launchers,” said the governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Hajday, on Wednesday in the online service Telegram. “They destroy everything.”

After weeks of fierce fighting, Russia has almost taken the city of Sieverodonetsk, which is separated from Lysychansk by a river. Most recently, fighting has mainly taken place in the surrounding villages, even if, according to Ukrainian sources, the city of Sievjerodonetsk is still not entirely under Russian control.

Lysychansk is still held by the Ukrainians. With a capture of the area and the two cities, Russia would control the entire Donbass sub-region of Luhansk. In addition, the way would be clear for further advances in the adjacent Donetsk region.

9:35 a.m .: According to British experts, the pro-Russian separatists of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in eastern Ukraine have suffered enormous losses since the beginning of the war. The troops have lost around 55 percent of their original combat strength, according to an update published by the British Ministry of Defense on Wednesday. This shows the extraordinary attrition of Russian and pro-Russian troops in the hotly contested Donbass region.

According to separatist representative Darya Morozova, from the beginning of the year to June 16, 2,128 pro-Russian fighters were killed and 8,897 wounded. British intelligence believes the separatists are fighting with outdated equipment. The extent to which reserve units could be mobilized would be decisive for the course of the war on both sides, it said.

According to Ukrainian sources, the total losses of the Russian and pro-Russian troops are now well over 30,000. This information cannot be independently verified.

Wednesday, June 22, 6:29 a.m.: According to its own statements, the Ukrainian army fired on the Russian armed forces in southern Ukraine. On Tuesday there were a total of 150 rocket and artillery fires, according to the Operational Command of Southern Ukraine in its daily report. 49 Russian soldiers were killed. In addition, two howitzers and an ammunition depot belonging to the Russians could be destroyed.

The Russians, for their part, attacked Mykolaiv and Ochakov in the region. In the Mykolaiv region, a person was killed in a residential area. The Russians have set up a defensive line and are fighting from there, they say. The situation in the south is “tense but controlled,” according to the Ukrainian army.

10:55 p.m .: A Russian fighter plane crashed near the border with Ukraine, according to Russian military sources, its pilot was killed. The Sukhoi Su-25 crashed on Tuesday during a training flight in the Rostov region. According to initial information, the cause could have been a “technical malfunction”, the Russian news agencies quoted a press release from the Southern Military District as saying.

The statement did not mention a possible connection with the Russian military operation in Ukraine, which borders Rostov. On June 17, a Su-25 crashed during a training flight in the Belgorod region, which also borders Ukraine. At that time, too, the Russian military had spoken of a possible technical defect. Russia has repeatedly accused Kyiv of airstrikes on Russian soil in the border regions in recent months.

10:35 p.m .: According to Russian information, 70 ships from 16 countries are currently blocked in six ports in Ukraine. The Russian Ministry of Defense accused Ukraine on Tuesday evening of not being able to put ships out to sea unhindered due to Ukrainian shelling and the high risk of mines. On the other hand, Ukraine – one of the largest grain exporters in the world – criticizes the fact that Russia is preventing the export of grain by blocking Ukrainian ports and thus causing a food crisis.

The international community has been demanding that Russia allow the export of Ukrainian grain for weeks. Ukraine complains that its ports in the Black Sea are blocked by the Russian Navy. Both countries are among the largest wheat exporters and play an important role in global food security.

In order to clarify questions about grain exports from Ukraine, a Turkish delegation is to travel to Moscow in the coming week, as Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the TASS agency.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the port in Mariupol in southern Ukraine is now operational again. A Turkish ship was the first foreign ship to leave the port on Tuesday, the Russian agency Tass wrote.

9:06 p.m .: In the heavily contested eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk, Ukrainian units around the towns of Solote and Hirske are threatened with being surrounded by Russian troops. “In the Toshkivka-Pidlisne direction, the enemy captured the towns of Pidlisne and Myrna Dolyna,” the Ukrainian General Staff said in a Facebook report on Tuesday. The Russian troops had also achieved success with Hirske. This would have cut off the northern road connection to the other Ukrainian units around Lyssychansk southwest of Sievjerodonetsk for the Ukrainian grouping around the towns of Solote and Hirske. The connection via Wrubiwka, west of Hirske, had already come under Russian control last week.

8:03 p.m .: In the eastern Ukrainian region of Kharkiv, 15 people were killed by Russian attacks. 16 others were injured, as the governor of the region Oleh Synyehubov announced on Tuesday in the news service Telegram. Accordingly, there were four dead and eleven injured in the metropolis of Kharkiv by Russian rocket fire. Three civilians were reportedly killed near the Russian border in Udy and an eight-year-old girl in Besruky near Derhachi. In Chuhuiv, southeast of Kharkiv, six people died in the evening from Russian shelling and three were injured. The information cannot be independently verified.

4:13 p.m .: Russian troops heavily bombed areas in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday. “Today everything that can burn is burning,” Luhansk governor Serhiy Hajdaj told the AP news agency. The Russian military wants complete control of the region, but despite fierce attacks and the deployment of additional troops, it still faces resistance.

The Russian military currently controls about 95 percent of the Luhansk region. Hajdaj said Russian troops reduced the area to rubble. “It’s a sheer disaster,” Hajdaj said in writing. “Our positions are being fired at with howitzers, multiple rocket launchers, large caliber artillery and rockets.”

2:53 p.m .: According to their own statements, the Russian military repelled an attack on the strategically important Snake Island and cut off supplies to the Ukrainian troops in the Sievjerodonetsk – Lyssychansk area. “The group of Ukrainian military in the Lysychansk area is cut off from supplies and under the fire control of the Russian armed forces,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Tuesday.

According to the Russian army spokesman, Ukrainian forces in the region have suffered heavy casualties. Only 28 soldiers remain of the 57th mechanized brigade stationed in Sieverodonetsk, while hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers have deserted in the small town a little further west, he said. This information cannot be independently verified.

You can read more reports on the Ukraine conflict on the following pages.