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Russia Gaining Ground in Eastern Bakhmut, Ukraine Maintaining West

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The eastern part of the besieged Ukrainian city of Bakhmut in the hotspot on the frontline, a major target of Moscow’s campaign that lasted for months and resulted in heavy losses, is now under the control of Russian forces although the west of the city remains under the control of Russian forces. British military officials said in an assessment on Saturday that the Ukrainian military, but the Russian offensive would be difficult to withstand without more heavy losses.

In its latest regular Twitter update, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said units of the Kremlin-controlled Wagner paramilitary group had captured most of eastern Bakhmut, where a river flowing through the city center now marks the front line.

However, Modernization added, it would be a “huge challenge” for Wagner’s forces to advance, as Ukraine had destroyed key bridges over the river, while Ukrainian sniper fire from fortified buildings farther west had made the thin strip of open land in the center a “killing zone”.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces and supply lines in the mining town remain vulnerable to “continuous Russian attempts to outflank the defenders from the north and south,” while Russian forces attempt to approach them in a pincer motion, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, Russian military bloggers and other pro-Kremlin accounts on Telegram claimed on Friday that Russian forces entered a mineral processing plant in northwest Bakhmut. A Washington-based think tank also pointed late Friday to geolocated footage showing Russian forces within 800 meters of the Azum plant, a dense and fortified complex.

The Institute for the Study of War assessed that Moscow’s apparent focus on capturing the plant, rather than opting for a “wider encirclement of western Bakhmut” by attempting to capture nearby villages, would likely lead to another wave of Russian casualties.

Across Ukraine, repair work continued on Saturday after a Russian missile and drone attack two days earlier killed six people and left hundreds of thousands without heat or electricity.

Ukraine’s state grid operator said power supply problems continued in four regions in the aftermath of the bombing, which saw 80 Russian missiles and fewer exploding drones hit residential buildings and critical infrastructure across the country.

In a Facebook post, Okrengo said the scheduled power outages were still in operation in Kharkiv and Zhytomyr regions in northwest and northeast Ukraine, respectively, as well as parts of Dnipropetrovsk and Mykolaiv provinces in the southeast. The company added that the situation in Zhitomir was particularly difficult, where some consumers were still out of the network.

The governor of the region, Oleksandr Prokudin, said in a post on Telegram that, on Saturday, a Russian shelling set fire to a car traveling through the southern city of Kherson, killing one person inside and wounding two others.

Earlier, authorities stated that Russian bombing over the past 24 hours killed at least five people and injured 19 others in Ukraine’s Kherson and Donetsk regions. The eastern province of Donetsk, where Bakhmut is located, has been the epicenter of fighting in recent months, while Ukrainian-held parts of the Kherson region have seen daily bombardment from Russian forces positioned across the Dnieper River.

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