The Ukrainian military said Russian forces have recently launched unsuccessful assaults on its defensive lines in several regions, including around the embattled eastern city of Bakhmut.
The Russian assaults have also targeted Kupiansk and Lyman, in the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions, respectively, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said late Saturday.
Bakhmut: Russia has made “several unsuccessful attempts” on a cluster of settlements in the area surrounding Bakhmut, the Ukrainian military said.
The areas that have seen recent fighting include Orikhovo-Vasylivka and Berkhivka to the northwest of Bakhmut, and Ivanivske and Pivnichne to the southwest.
Ukraine’s military said “the enemy keeps trying to break through the defenses and take Bakhmut” and that the commander of Ukraine’s Eastern Military Group, Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi, visited units that are defending the city and surrounding villages.
“The Russian occupiers have focused their main efforts on taking Bakhmut and its surroundings. Fighting is taking place around the city and on its outskirts,” the Ukrainian Ground Forces said on Telegram.
The post included images from Syrskyi’s visit.
Russian state news agency RIA Novosti carried a report showing a Russian soldier walking through the outskirts of Bakhmut. On video, he said, “The enemy is holding on, but their morale is low and occasionally they start to retreat. We have 1,740 meters (about a mile) left to go to frontline positions in the center of Bakhmut. The enemy is holding the defense but is exhausted.”
CNN is unable to verify the soldier’s claims on troop positioning.
Wagner claim: The head of the Russian private military company Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said in a Telegram audio message that his fighters took control of the village of Yahidne, a northern suburb of Bakhmut, Saturday evening.
CNN could not immediately verify Prigozhin’s claim.
Elsewhere in eastern Ukraine: The Ukrainian General Staff said Russian forces have also attacked defensive lines near Avdiivka, to the north of Donetsk city, and Mariinka, to the southwest.
The military gave no indication that Moscow’s troops had made any ground.
Pavlo Kyrylenko, the head of the Donetsk region’s military administration, said on Telegram that Avdiivka was under heavy enemy fire.
He said that in less than 24 hours, “the Russians shelled the city twice with artillery, once with tanks, launched an anti-aircraft missile strike, and also struck with Grads (rockets).”
A recently renovated school in the city had been destroyed by an air strike, Kyrylenko said.