Ukraine's military announced on Thursday that its forces had retreated from a section of Chasiv Yar in the eastern Donetsk region, following Russia's claim that its troops had seized control of a district in this strategically important town. Chasiv Yar is situated on elevated terrain, and if Russian forces fully dominate the town, they could use it as a launching point to push westward towards the Ukrainian cities of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk. The Russian Defence Ministry disclosed on Wednesday that its forces had secured the 'Novyi' district, located west of the Siverskyi Donets-Donbas canal that traverses the eastern part of the town.

Military spokesman Nazar Voloshyn explained on Ukrainian television that holding the canal neighborhood became unfeasible once the enemy infiltrated it, posing risks to the lives and health of Ukrainian servicemen and leading to the destruction of defensive positions. The command opted to withdraw to better fortified and prepared positions, yet even there, the enemy continues its aggressive combat operations. Russia's military, which initiated a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, has been gradually advancing in the Donetsk region for several weeks, attempting to establish a new front near the northeastern city of Kharkiv. The advance in the Kharkiv region was stalled, but Ukrainian military analysts recognize that 2024 has been challenging for Ukraine on the battlefield, with delays in receiving U.S. military aid significantly affecting their efforts.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy highlighted in an interview with Bloomberg, published on his social media on Thursday, that there are 14 under-equipped brigades lacking appropriate weapons. He expressed frustration that while aid packages are expected, they are arriving at a slow pace. As Ukraine awaits the crucial weapons needed for its defense, Zelenskiy emphasized the need to safeguard what has been achieved before contemplating counter-offensive actions. The Ukrainian military reported in its daily update that over 161 combat clashes occurred in the past 24 hours, predominantly in the Donetsk region. It noted that Ukrainian forces had successfully thwarted Russian attempts to breach defenses on the Kramatorsk front, which encompasses areas near Chasiv Yar. In the last week, the Ukrainian military also documented escalating hostilities on the Toretsk front in the Donetsk region, with Voloshyn reporting 114 attacks by Russian forces, a significant increase from the previous week's 31 attacks.