Kyiv says Ukrainian troops advance around Bakhmut, Russia adding forces

KYIV (Reuters) -Ukraine said on Monday its troops were still advancing on the flanks of the devastated eastern city of Bakhmut, although the “intensity” of their movement had decreased and Russia was bringing in more forces.

Russia said on Saturday it had completely taken Bakhmut, but Ukrainian officials have said since then that Kyiv’s forces still control a small part of the city.

Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar reiterated on Monday that Ukraine had a small foothold inside the city itself.

“Through our movement on the flanks – to the north and south – we manage to destroy the enemy,” she said in televised comments. “By moving along the flanks and occupying certain heights there, our armed forces have made it very difficult for the enemy to stay in the city itself.”

“We are still advancing, but the intensity is somewhat reduced. If we talk about the north, there is much less active action there. If we talk about the south, we are advancing and the defence of Bakhmut as a city has completely fulfilled its military objective.”

Reuters was unable to verify the situation on the battlefield.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Timothy Heritage)

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