Bakhmut: Ukraine pledges to retain Bakhmut despite Russian attack

BAKHMUT: Ukrainian troops on Wednesday defended their positions in Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine amid a relentless push by Russian forces to capture a town that has been turned into a wasteland by seven months of fighting. Both sides have claimed success in what has become the longest battle since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine more than a year ago.
Ukrainian officials said that Ukrainian Ground Forces shot down a Russian fighter near Bakhmut and made gains in the northern parts of the city.
In the meantime, Yevgeny Prigozhinthe mercenary founder Wagner Groupwho led the Russian assault on the city, said in a social media post on Wednesday that Russian forces had taken control of the Zaliznyanskoye settlement and were expanding the encirclement of Bakhmut.
The claims could not be verified.
The battle for Bakhmut escalated after Russian forces captured the nearby town of Soledar in January. Russian forces are to pass through Bakhmut to drive deeper into parts of Donetsk province they do not yet control, although Western officials say taking the city would have limited impact on the course of the war. war.
A UK Ministry of Defense assessment over the weekend said paramilitary units from the Wagner Group had seized eastern parts of Bakhmut, with a river running through the town marking the front line of the fighting.
Russian troops surrounded the city from three sides, leaving only a narrow corridor leading west. The only highway to the west came under heavy Russian artillery fire, forcing the Ukrainian defenders to rely increasingly on country roads, which were difficult to navigate before the muddy ground dried up.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky discussed the situation in Bakhmut with senior military and intelligence officials on Tuesday and all agreed on the need to hold and defend the city, the presidential office said.


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