A Ukrainian soldier fires a grenade launcher on the front line during a battle with Russian troops near Bakhmut on March 24.
The Ukrainian military says that Russian attacks are focusing on Bakhmut and a handful of other eastern areas, after Moscow announced plans to deploy tactical nuclear weapons to neighboring Belarus and Ukraine's president praised recent pledges of international support for Kyiv.
Ukraine's General Staff said its forces continued to hold positions in Bakhmut, where a monthslong Russian encirclement effort continues, but Ukraine's top commander said this week the situation was being " stabilized ."
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It cited Russian attacks in the Donetsk areas of Lyman, Maryinka, and Avdiyivka.
Kyiv also said Russian forces were conducting "defensive actions" in the areas around Kherson and Zaporizhzhya, where shelling has raised fears over a captured nuclear power plant, in southeastern Ukraine.
The Kherson city council on March 24 advised residents living close to the Dnieper River to leave for "safer areas."
The Ukrainian Army said the occupiers in the city of Berdyansk, in the Zaporizhzhya area, issued a decree forcing local residents to seek passes to move freely in the area pending background checks.
Russian forces and their separatist allies have conducted widescale "filtration" operations to vet civilians in occupied territory since early in the full-scale invasion that began in February 2022.
Ukraine's General Staff also claimed that the Russian side had suffered 170,000 casualties so far in the all-out invasion that began in February 22.
RFE/RL cannot independently confirm casualty claims by either side or battlefield developments in areas of intense fighting.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said its director-general, Rafael Grossi, will make his second visit of the war next week to the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, where he and other nuclear experts have repeatedly warned of the risk of nuclear catastrophe.
Meanwhile, the secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, Oleksiy Danilov, said after the Kremlin announced it was ordering tactical nuclear weapons to be positioned in Belarus that that fellow post-Soviet republic was falling "hostage" to Moscow.
Danilov tweeted that Russian President Vladimir Putin's move is "a step towards internal destabilization" of Belarus that "maximizes the level of negative perception and public rejection of [R]ussia and [P]utin in Belarusian society."
"The [K]remlin took Belarus as a nuclear hostage," he said.
Russia's state-run TASS news agency on March 25 quoted Putin as claiming there was "nothing unusual" about the tactical nukes deployment and that it did not violate existing nuclear nonproliferation treaties.
In his regular video address late on March 25, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy praised a decision on "new packages of defense support" from Finland, Germany, Lithuania, and the United States, as well as a similar Swedish vote.
He also cited "a security package and strong agreements with Japan" following Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's visit earlier this week.
Zelenskiy said Croatia's government backed a program to treat and rehabilitate Ukrainian war casualties and that Greece joined a group "working on the creation of a special tribunal" for war crimes.
Zelenskiy said the commitments allowed Ukraine to become stronger while "the enemy has become even more isolated, even more hopeless."