Ukraine reports advance near Bakhmut

by Pavel Polityuk and Olena Harmash

KYIV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s military said it advanced further on Wednesday near the eastern city of Bakhmut as Russia continued to send in fresh units, including paratroopers.

It is the latest comment by Kiev in the past week, indicating that Russian forces have been pushed back in some areas around Bakhmut after months of fighting.

“We are successfully conducting a defensive operation, we are launching a counterattack, and today our units have advanced 500 meters to some parts of the Bakhmat front,” army spokesman Serhiy Cherevati told Ukrainian television.

He said he saw no indication that Russian forces were running out of ammunition, contradicting statements by Wagner, the leader of the Russian paramilitary group that led the assault on Bakhmut.

The spokesman said, “The enemy wants to take the city at will, attacking with all systems and calibers. There is no shortage of shells.”

“They are moving new units there (to Bakhmaut), mostly paratroopers, to try to win some sort of intermediate victory.”

Moscow did not immediately comment on the spokesperson’s remarks. According to the Russian news agency, RIA Novosti, citing the Russian Defense Ministry, Russian forces are fighting to take control of the western parts of Bakhmat.

Reuters was unable to verify the situation on the battlefield.

Ukrainian officials said the advance around Bakhmut was not part of a wider counteroffensive by Kiev to expel Russian forces from its territory.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk and Olena Harmsch, Nathan Vifflin for the French edition, editing by Blandin Heinault)

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