The Ukrainian army continues this Sunday defending Bakhmut from the Russian advance, in the east of the country, with the aim of "buying time" before a possible counteroffensive later during the war in Ukraine.
Previously, British intelligence claimed that the front line had changed in the city, but that any Russian advance would pose a "great challenge".
The devastated town in eastern Ukraine is home to the longest and bloodiest battle since the start of the Russian offensive more than a year ago.
Some military experts have questioned the point of guarding it, but Ukrainian ground forces commander Oleksandr Syrsky said on Saturday that it helps buy time in preparation for a future counteroffensive.
"The real heroes are the defenders who carry the weight of the eastern front on their shoulders," the official said, quoted by the Ukrainian army's press service.
"It is necessary to gain time to accumulate reserves and launch a counteroffensive, which is not far off," he said.
The Ukrainian army claimed on Sunday that "15 towns in the Bakhmut area had been targeted by Russian fire" the day before, proof of the intensity of the fighting currently taking place in the area.
In a video, the head of Russia's Wagner paramilitary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said on Saturday that his forces were already close to Bakhmut's administrative center.
"This is the municipal administration building," he said, pointing to the construction from the roof of another building.
"They are one kilometer and two hundred meters away," he specified in the recording released by his company Concord.
"The most important thing is to get the right amount of ammunition and move forward," added Prigozhin in military dress.
Prigozhin's men are in the front line in the Battle of Bakhmut, which caused heavy losses on both sides.
According to British military intelligence, the Bakhmutka River, in the center of the city, now marks the front line.
"Ukrainian forces hold the west of the town and have demolished key bridges over the river, which runs north-south across open ground," Britain's Defense Ministry said.
"This area has become a death zone, and could prove a major challenge to Wagner's forces looking to continue their frontal assault to the west," he added.
Prigozhin, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, has been embroiled in a power struggle with the Defense Ministry, and has criticized Russia's military high command, accusing it of not sharing ammunition with Wagner's forces.
In an interview with the French newspaper 'Journal de Dimanche', Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Stefanishyna admitted that it "becomes difficult for us to resist and deter" Russian forces in Bakhmut.
"We estimate that the Russian army has already lost 150,000 men since last year in its military offensives. The human mass of its infantry is a formidable weapon, it seems endless in volume and time," he declared.
In southern Ukraine, at least three people were killed and three wounded in a Russian airstrike in Kherson on Saturday, authorities said Sunday.
The city was liberated by kyiv forces in November, after several months of occupation. But since then, the region, which Moscow partially controls, has been the target of continuous Russian bombing.
"Russian terrorists bomb Kherson again," the head of the presidential administration, Andriy Yermak, said on Saturday, posting an image of firefighters next to a burnt-out vehicle.
Galina Kolisnik, 53, escaped "tragedy", she tells AFP. The woman was "inside a store" when she heard the explosions.
"We went inside and, five minutes later, the tragedy occurred," he explained. "Our car was hit...it's horrible," she added.
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