Ukraine said Tuesday its forces had fended off Russian assaults on a road outside Bakhmut in the east, thwarting Moscow’s attempt to gain control of a crucial supply route.
Russian forces have failed to cut off the road leading from the town Chasiv Yar to Bakhmut, which is used for supplying Kyiv’s troops, Ukrainian military spokesperson Serhiy Cherevaty said.
“The Ukrainian army in Bakhmut is supplied with everything necessary,” he added.
Cherevaty said Bakhmut — nicknamed “fortress Bakhmut” for withstanding some of the heaviest fightings of the war — remained one of the main focuses of Russian attacks, including relentless artillery strikes and infantry assaults.
A Belarusian volunteer fighting for Ukraine told Reuters from inside Bakhmut that Russia was shelling the city constantly and its troops were trying to encircle it. Fighting was underway building by building, the volunteer said.
Russian forces have made incremental advances in the area in recent weeks, notably capturing the salt-mining town of Soledar to Bakhmut’s north.
If Bakhmut falls, it would be Moscow’s first major gain since July 2022.
Earlier Tuesday, Russia claimed control of Blahodatne, a small village just north of Bakhmut. The Post could not independently verify that information.
Ukrainian troops, the Russian military, and the Wagner Group, Russia’s private mercenary force, have been locked for months in a fierce battle of attrition in the Bakhmut area, which both sides have described as a meat grinder.
Separately, a large Russian force has launched an assault against the Ukrainian-held bastion of Vuhledar this week, further south along the same eastern front. Russian officials have claimed to have secured a foothold there, while Kyiv says it has largely repelled that attack so far.
Britain’s Ministry of Defense said the Russian force in the new Vuhledar assault was at least the size of a brigade — a unit typically comprising several thousand troops.
It said the assault on Vuhledar was unlikely to lead to a significant breakthrough but could be intended to draw Ukrainian efforts away from defending Bakhmut.
Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior aide to President Volodymyr Zelensky, said Ukraine was in urgent need of more weapons to repel Moscow’s forces because Russia had stepped up attacks.
He wrote on Twitter that “systematic shelling of frontline cities, accumulation of ordnance, redeployment of troops, additional forced mobilization surely do not indicate RF’s (Russia’s) readiness for peace.”
“These are direct signs of significant escalation. Therefore, weapons, weapons & more weapons for Ukraine,” he added.
Since winning Western pledges last week to provide modern battle tanks, Kyiv has requested more weapons, including fighter jets, which have become a point of contention among Ukraine’s allies.
With Post wires
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