Movements took place on the front around the eastern city of Bakhmut, which has been the focus of fighting for months. Russian and Ukrainian reports unanimously reported yesterday that Ukrainian forces have made gains in the area.
Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hana Malyar said that the forces are advancing in two directions on the outskirts of Bakhmut. However, the situation in the city center is “complicated”.
On Friday, Russia acknowledged the withdrawal of its forces from an area near Bakhmut and regrouped. The head of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, spoke about the defeat of the regular forces. Ukraine had occupied a height in front of the city and controlled the main road to Bakhmut, previously held by Wagner’s mercenaries.
There are no details of a possible attack
The British Ministry of Defense said that the Russian forces withdrew in disorder from positions near Bakhmut during the past four days. A spokesman for the Eastern Group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said that its forces “liberated an area of 17.3 square kilometers in three days of counterattack”.
It remains unclear whether the advance is a prelude to the long-awaited large-scale Ukrainian counter-offensive. President Volodymyr Zelensky avoided concrete answers on the sidelines of an official visit to Rome: “I cannot answer this question, but you will see the results and Russia will feel them,” he told Italian television.
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