The longest battle since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine takes place in Bakhmout. On Saturday, the Ukrainian army chief of staff said his troops had managed to "stabilize" the situation around this city, the epicenter for eight months of fighting against Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.
This city, which had around 70,000 inhabitants before the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the end of February 2022 but which is now deserted by civilians, is the scene of the longest and bloodiest confrontation since the outbreak of the war.
The "most difficult" situation on the front line is "around Bakhmout", Valery Zaluzhny said late Friday evening in a phone call with Britain's Chief of Defense Staff, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin. "Thanks to the tremendous efforts of the defense forces, we manage to stabilize the situation," Valery Zaluzhny wrote on Facebook.
Russian forces sometimes report hard-won territory around the city, which has become more of a symbol than a strategic site from a purely military point of view as the fighting continues.
According to a report by British intelligence released on Saturday, "Russia's offensive on the city of Bakhmout in the Donbass region has largely come to a standstill".
"This is most likely primarily the result of extreme attrition of Russian forces," the British said in a statement, noting that Kyiv had also "suffered heavy casualties."
Ukrainian Ground Forces Commander Oleksandr Syrsky claimed on Telegram on Thursday that a counter-offensive could "very soon" be launched against "exhausted" Russian forces near Bakhmout.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Ukrainian troops near the Bakhmut frontline on Wednesday. Yevgeny Prigojine, head of the Russian paramilitary group Wagner, whose men are on the front line in this battle, said on Monday that his forces controlled around 70% of the city.
In recent weeks, Russian forces have advanced north and south of Bakhmut, cutting off several Ukrainian supply routes.