Over the past five days, Russian and Ukrainian forces have been fighting for control of the P66 highway north of the Russian-held town of Kreminnain Luhansk Oblast, UK intelligence said in its daily Twitter update on Jan. 2.
The UK agency notes that the highway is a key supply route for the northern section of the Russian front in Donbas from Belgorod Oblast.
The use of the route has been interrupted by Ukrainian artillery since October, but if Ukraine succeeds in securing the route, it is likely to further undermine the Russian defenses of Kreminna, the intelligence said.
Earlier, Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Hayday said that the Russian military fear losing Kreminna, so they have built a strong defense in the area and are massing reserves and equipment.
He also reported that the fighting is taking place not far from the Russian-occupied town of Kreminna.
According to the New York Times, recently there have been significant successes of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in this sector, which could lead to the de-occupation of Kreminna and Ukrainian forces taking control of the main roads leading to Severodonetsk and Lysychansk.
On Dec. 29, the General Staff reported that the Ukrainian Defense Forces had advanced some 2.5 kilometers in the direction of Kreminna.