BAKHMUT-The front line in Bakhmut has been stabilized over the past few days by Ukrainian troops, despite intense and ongoing attacks by Russian forces, a deputy commander in the National Guard of Ukraine said Saturday. According to the Svoboda battalion’s Volodymyr Nazarenko, Russian forces have not crossed the Bakhmutka River, and the city center remains under control of Ukrainian forces.
“Every hour in Bakhmut is like hell. The enemy had successes in the north, northwest of Bakhmut a week ago. Ukrainian soldiers are fighting back. Over the past few days, the front line has been stabilized thanks to our hard work and efforts,” Nazarenko told Ukrainian broadcaster Kyiv24.
Near the village of Ivanivske, southwest of Bakhmut, “the Kostiantynivka-Bakhmut road is under the control of Ukrainian forces. They are doing this with enormous efforts,” he said.
Russian forces lack ammunition and are resorting to “chaotic shelling” and are attempting to bomb supply lines. Moscow’s troops, however, still have more ammunition than the Ukrainians, he added.
Whereas, Russia has not taken control of the eastern city of Bakhmut, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Armed Forces told CNN Saturday. “The fighting in Bakhmut is more on the outskirts, with the city controlled by Ukrainian defense forces: the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Border Guard and the National Guard,” according to Serhiy Cherevatyi, the spokesperson for the eastern grouping of the armed forces.
Ukrainian troops are rotating positions in Bakhmut in controlled, planned rotations, he said in response to reports of the withdrawal of some units.
“There is also no mass withdrawal of Ukrainian troops,” he said.
So far on Saturday, he said there have been hostilities surrounding Bakhmut, in the villages of Vasiukivka and Dubovo-Vasylivka to the north of the city, and in the villages of Ivanivske and Bohdanivka to the west.
“There were 21 enemy attacks with the use of various artillery systems and MLRS near Bakhmut alone, and 9 combat engagements. 131 attacks and 38 combat engagements took place on this front in total,” Cherevatyi said.
Over 150 Russian soldiers were killed and 239 were wounded, and three were taken prisoner, he added.