According to information from Kiev, Russian forces are aggressively attacking Bakhmut, a cornerstone of the defense system around the last Ukraine-owned Donbass conurbation. “The enemy is launching an attack on Bakhmut, the fighting continues,” the Ukrainian General Staff said in its situation report on Saturday. The day before, pro-Russian rebels had reported fighting within the city limits.
Since the capture of Lugansk Oblast, Russian offensive efforts in eastern Ukraine have focused on neighboring Donetsk Oblast. The Russian invaders have been able to gradually push back the Ukrainian defenders in recent weeks. They now control about 60 percent of the territory. The headquarters of the Ukrainian troops in the Donbass is located in the Sloviansk-Kramatorsk agglomeration, which was home to more than half a million people before the war. This area is secured from the east by the Siwersk – Soledar – Bakhmut line of fortifications.
This is now failing in several places. Also in front of Siwersk and Soledar are Russian troops. However, the heaviest fighting is currently taking place around the Bakhmut interchange, which the Russians are shelling with artillery and tanks.
Fighting around Donetsk
The fighting also continues for the former regional capital of Donetsk, which has been in the hands of pro-Russian separatists since 2014. The troops loyal to Moscow are trying to push the Ukrainians further away. In the area of the town of Avdiivka north of Donetsk, there had been several attacks that had been repulsed, the general staff reported. The area was bombarded over a large area with artillery.
Ukraine’s successes in the south
In the south of the country, however, the initiative lies with the Ukrainians. According to the situation report, the Russian troops there concentrated on defending their positions in the occupied territories. The Ukrainian Army’s Southern Command previously reported that it had destroyed at least six Russian weapons and ammunition depots and two command posts in the Kherson region.