Russian forces pounded the city of Bakhmut, the months-old focal point of their attempts to capture the eastern Ukrainian industrial region of Donbas, and the head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary force said Ukrainian troops were pouring in ahead of an “inevitable” counter-offensive.
The general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces, in a report on Facebook, said fighting gripped Bakhmut and nearby areas. It said Russian forces had failed to advance on two villages to the northwest. At least a dozen localities came under Russian fire.
Separately, Serhiy Cherevatiy, spokesman for Ukraine’s eastern group of forces, told national television on Wednesday that in the past 24 hours, Russian forces had attacked 324 times using artillery and multiple rocket launchers.
“The Russians are destroying buildings in Bakhmut to prevent our soldiers from using them as fortifications,” Cherevatiy said.
Cherevatiy on Tuesday said there had been a record number of attacks on a section of the front further north – near the city of Kupiansk, in northeastern Ukraine.
The governor of the southern Ukrainian region of Mykolaiv said Russian missiles had hit an apartment building and a private house in the city of the same name.
One person was killed and 15 were injured, Vitaliy Kim wrote on the Telegram messaging app.