British military officials said Russian forces had made progress on the front-line hotspot of Bakhmut, a key objective in Moscow’s months-long campaign in eastern Ukraine that has taken its toll, but that its offensive would be difficult to sustain without taking more heavy casualties. . he said in a review on Saturday.
In its latest regular Twitter update, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said units of the Kremlin-controlled Wagner paramilitary group had captured most of eastern Bakhmut, where the river running through the city center now represents the frontline.
However, the update added, the advance of Wagner’s forces would be an “enormous challenge”, as Ukraine had destroyed key bridges across the river, while Ukrainian sniper fire from fortified buildings to the west had rendered the thin strip of open ground into the center of a “killing zone”.
Meanwhile, the ministry said that Ukrainian forces and supply lines in the mining town remain vulnerable to “continuous Russian attempts to outflank the defenders from the north and south”, while Russian forces attempt to approach them in a pincer movement.
Meanwhile, Russian military bloggers and other pro-Kremlin accounts on Telegram claimed on Friday that Russian forces entered a mineral processing plant in northwest Bakhmut. The Washington-based think tank also pointed to geo-tagged images late Friday that showed Russian forces within half a mile of the heavily fortified Azum plant.
The Institute for the Study of War judged that Moscow’s apparent focus on capturing the factory, rather than opting for a “wider encirclement of western Bakhmut” in an effort to capture nearby villages, would likely lead to another wave of Russian casualties.
On Saturday, the Ukrainian ground forces signaled their intention to capture the city, saying on Facebook that its senior officer continues to monitor “the most important sectors of the front” and “take necessary measures” to deny Moscow a long-awaited victory in Ukraine. battlefield. . Colonel Oleksandr Sersky has made several visits to Bakhmut and other hotspots on the eastern frontline over the past month.
Across Ukraine, repair work continued on Saturday after a Russian missile and drone attack two days earlier killed six people and left hundreds of thousands without heat or electricity.
Ukraine’s public grid operator said power supply problems persisted in four regions in the aftermath of the attack, which saw 80 Russian missiles and fewer drones explode at residential buildings and critical infrastructure across the country.
In a Facebook post, Orengo said planned power outages were still underway in Kharkiv and Zhytomyr regions in northwestern and northeastern Ukraine respectively, as well as parts of Dnipropetrovsk and Mykolaiv provinces in the southeast. The company added that the situation in Zhitomir is particularly difficult, as some consumers are still out of the network.
And the governor of the region, Oleksandr Prokudin, said in a message on Telegram that, on Saturday, a Russian bomb attack set fire to a car that was passing through the southern city of Kherson, killing one person inside and injuring others.
Earlier, the authorities said that the Russian bombing during the past 24 hours killed at least five people and injured 19 others in the Kherson and Donetsk regions of Ukraine. The eastern province of Donetsk, where Bakhmut is located, has been the epicenter of the fighting in recent months, while parts of the Ukrainian-controlled Kherson region have been bombarded daily by Russian forces positioned across the Dnieper River.