The Russian invaders failed to surround Bakhmut, Donetsk region, and they lost part of the dominant heights around the city.
Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said this in a post on Telegram, Ukrinform reports.
According to her, "the enemy failed to surround Bakhmut, and they lost part of the dominant heights around the city. That is, the advance of our troops in the suburbs along the flanks, which is still ongoing, makes it very difficult for the enemy to remain in Bakhmut."
Read also: Zelensky denies Bakhmut capture by Russia - spox
"Our forces have taken the city in a semi-encirclement, which gives us the opportunity to eliminate the enemy. Therefore, the enemy has to defend itself in the part of the city that it controls,” Maliar said.
The deputy minister emphasized that the Ukrainian forces maintain control over industrial and infrastructure facilities, as well as a private sector of Bakhmut in the Litak district.
In turn, Serhiy Cherevatyi, the spokesman for Ukraine’s Eastern Group of Forces, in a comment to Suspile noted that Bakhmut was actually completely destroyed as a result of Russia’s shelling, but the Defense Forces are managing to hold positions in its southwestern part, conducting battles against the Russian forces.
"The president correctly said - the city has been actually razed to the ground. The enemy destroys it daily with massive artillery attacks and airstrikes, and our units report that the situation is extremely difficult. Our military keep fortifications and several premises in the southwestern part of the city. Heavey fighting is ongoing,” the spokesman said.
According to him, Russia attaches too much symbolic importance to Bakhmut.
"Russia draws attention to this Bakhmut... The city is destroyed, it does not bring them any military or even political benefit. To capture the district center in nine months - they did not capture it. We are trying to press along the flanks, not giving them to rest and, if possible, to counterattack," Cherevatyi said.
As reported by Ukrinform, some media reported that President Volodymyr Zelensky, in a comment to journalists in Japan, said that the city of Bakhmut was no longer under the control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
However, president’s press secretary Serhiy Nykyforov said that Volodymyr Zelensky in his answer denied the capture of Bakhmut by the Russian invaders.
The day before, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar reported that the situation in Bakhmut was critical, the Armed Forces of Ukraine were holding the defense in the Litak district.
Earlier, Russian mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed that his Wagner fighters had “completely captured” Bakhmut.
Photo: Kostiantyn Liberov