Russian troops have increased the use of UAVs as they are afraid of using their aircraft.

Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to the head of the Ukrainian President’s Office, said this at a briefing on Thursday, Vigilant reports.

“A significant increase in the use of UAVs shows that the enemy is afraid of using aircraft, especially army aircraft, i.e. helicopters to directly support their troops on the battlefield. They concentrated the main efforts of their aircraft mainly in the area of the Joint Forces Operation, because in the rest of Ukraine they are shot down by our Air Force,” Arestovych said.

According to him, the Ukrainian Air Force continues to destroy the enemy’s air targets. Unmanned aerial vehicles, several aircraft, helicopters and cruise missiles were shot down over the past day.

Arestovych also said that fierce fighting is now going on in the towns of Rubizhne, Popasna and Sievierodonetsk in the Luhansk region. “These are areas where our troops are defending, counterattacking, stopping the enemy. The situation is very difficult. In the JFO area, the enemy is developing an offensive from Izium to the south, towards Kramatorsk and Sloviansk. They are also trying to attack [Ukrainian forces] on the Vuhledarsk-Marinka line. This is an attempt to encircle our troops, but I think this attempt will be in vain, because the situation there is too unfavorable for the enemy. However, it will not be easy,” Arestovych added.

According to him, the enemy resumed the offensive in Mariupol, but Ukrainian troops are holding on.

“The military and political situation around Ukraine is controlled by the leadership of Ukraine, the leadership of the Armed Forces and other defense forces,” he said.