Ukraine says Russian troops fiercely attacking Bakhmut in Donbas

KIEV: Ukraine's General Staff on Saturday said that Russian troops were fiercely attacking Bakhmut, a foundation pillar of the defence system around the last Ukrainian-held urban area in the eastern Donbas region. "The enemy is continuing an attack on Bakhmut; The fighting carries out," the General Staff said in its latest situation report.

The pro-Russian rebels earlier reported the day before that there was fighting already inside the city area. The statements from both angles, however, could not be independently verified.

Russian military attempts in eastern Ukraine have focused on the neighbouring Donetsk region after the Luhansk region was taken in early July. 

The Donbas region, which includes the Russian-speaking cities of Luhansk and Donetsk, has been the focus of Moscow's war objectives for months. 

In recent weeks, the Russian invaders have gradually been able to push the Ukrainian resistance back. According to the situation report, they currently possess control over 60% of the area.

The headquarters of the Ukrainian forces in Donbas are situated in Slovyansk-Kramatorsk, a developed urban area where a half million people lived prior to the war. This region is protected from the east by the Siversk-Soledar-Bakhmut line of defence.

This line is now swaying in various spots. Outside of Siversk and Soledar, there are also Russian forces. The Russians are currently using artillery and tanks to bombard the Bakhmut traffic intersection, where combat is currently the most intense. Also, fighting is still going on outside of Donetsk, the pro-Russian rebels' base of operations since 2014.

The pro-Moscow troops are attempting to retrench the Ukrainians. The Ukrainian general staff claimed that three attempted strikes in the vicinity of the small town of Avdiivka, north of Donetsk, were thwarted. The region is being shelled heavily by artillery.

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