Ukraine updates: Wagner captures most of Bakhmut’s east

Story by dw.com • Yesterday 7:28 PM

The Russian mercenary group is now in control of most of the front-line town’s eastern part, according to British intelligence. Meanwhile, Russian shelling killed three civilians in the Kherson region. DW has the latest.

Bakhmut is the site of the heaviest battles between the Ukrainian and Russian troops© Yevhen Titov/AP Photo/picture alliance

Russian forces have made progress in the front-line town of Bakhmut, a key target of Moscow’s monthslong campaign in eastern Ukraine that has resulted in staggering casualties, the British Defense Ministry said in an assessment on Saturday.

In its regular intelligence update, the ministry said units from the Kremlin-backed paramilitary Wagner Group have captured most of eastern Bakhmut, with a river flowing through the city center now marking the front line.

However, the report added, it will be “highly challenging” for Wagner forces to push ahead, as Ukraine has destroyed key bridges over the river. Ukrainian sniper fire from fortified buildings further west has made the thin strip of open ground in the center “a killing zone,” it said.

At the same time, Ukrainian troops and supply lines in the mining city remain vulnerable to “continued Russian attempts to outflank the defenders from the north and south,” the ministry said.

Meanwhile, Wagner’s chief has said in a clip posted Saturday that his forces are close to the center of the front line in Bakhmut.

In a video posted on messaging app Telegram, Yevgeny Prigozhin is seen standing on the rooftop of a high-rise building in what is said to be Bakhmut.

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