The artillerymen of an assault regiment targeted the Russian positions facing them with an 82mm mortar.
Laurent Van der Stockt for Le Monde/Getty Images
A Ukrainian deputy defence minister said Tuesday that Kyiv’s troops have pushed Russian forces from chunks of territory around the embattled city of Bakhmut in the east of the country.
“In last few days, our troops liberated around 20 square kilometers in the north and south of the outskirts of Bakhmut. At the same time, the enemy is advancing in some measure inside Bakhmut itself and is completely destroying the town with artillery,” deputy defence minister Ganna Malyar said in a statement on social media.
Maliar, who has indicated previously that the Ukrainian advances around Bakhmut are not part of a broader counteroffensive planned by Kyiv, said developments there “should not be taken out of context”.
She reiterated that Russia was sending in new paratroopers and added: “Heavy battles continue with different results.”
The Ukrainian military said last week it had started to push Russian forces back around Bakhmut after months of heavy fighting, and Moscow acknowledged that its forces had fallen back north of the city.
Moscow sees Bakhmut, a city of about 70 000 before Russia’s full-scale invasion nearly 15 months ago, as a stepping stone towards capturing the rest of the eastern Donbas region.
– Additional reporting by Reuters
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