Ukraine: Battle for Bakhmut Stabilizing03/25 09:43
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) -- The top commander of Ukraine's military said Saturday
that his forces are pushing back against Russian troops in the long and
grinding battle for the town of Bakhmut, and British military intelligence says
Russia appears to be moving to a defensive strategy in eastern Ukraine.
"The Bakhmut direction is the most difficult. Thanks to the titanic efforts
of the defense forces, the situation is being stabilized," Gen. Valerii
Zaluzhnyi said in a post on Telegram giving a synopsis of a telephone call with
Adm. Sir Tony Radakin, Britain's chief of defense staff.
The seven-month battle for Bakhmut, where Russian forces have closed in on
three sides, is the longest clash of the war, with Russia deploying both
regular soldiers and fighters of the mercenary Wagner Group. Russian forces
must go through Bakhmut to push deeper into parts of the eastern Donbas region,
though Western officials say that the capture of the city would have limited
impact on the course of the war.
Britain's Defence Intelligence agency said on Twitter that "Russia's assault
on the Donbas town of Bakhmut has largely stalled. This is likely primarily a
result of extreme attrition of the Russian force."
Russia is likely shifting its focus toward two other sectors, which
"suggests an overall return to a more defensive operational design after
inconclusive results from its attempts to conduct a general offensive since
Pavlo Kyrylenko, the governor of Donetsk province, where Bakhmut is located,
said one civilian was killed in the Bakhmut fighting on Friday and another
civilian was killed elsewhere. Russian rockets hit the town of Kramatorsk
during the night, but caused no injuries, Kyrylenko said.
Two people were killed and six injured in Russian firing on the southern
Kherson region, the local administration said.