Ukrainian soldiers ride atop an armored personnel carrier in Ukraine s eastern region of Luhansk on May 21, 2023. AP
The industrial territory has suffered the brunt of fighting since Russia's offensive and the battle for Bakhmut is the longest and one of the bloodiest of the conflict.
"Over the past 24 hours in the Krasnolimansk direction, the enemy took a number of actions and conducted combat reconnaissance in several directions at once," Denis Pushilin said on social media.
He listed several villages in the north of Donetsk near the city of Lyman, which is under Ukrainian control, and claimed the assaults were suppressed by Russian forces.
Bakhmut was captured by Russian forces in May after months of brutal fighting but Ukrainian forces immediately began pushing back around its flanks and have recaptured several destroyed villages.
"The situation in (Bakhmut) remains hot, (the city) itself is under chaotic shelling," Pushilin said in the video statement on social media.
Pushilin also said Ukrainian forces are massing assault battalions north of the town that once had an estimated population of 70,000 people.
Ukrainian forces launched a counteroffensive against heavily entrenched Russian positions in June but progress has been slow.
The offensive has focused on the southern frontline and Ukrainian forces have broken through the most heavily fortified Russian first defensive line at several points.
Russian officials including President Vladimir Putin have repeatedly downplayed the Ukrainian gains and claim that Kyiv's forces are running out of offensive potential.