Ukrainians still control some Bakhmut buildings, advancing on flanks, deputy defense minister says

Ukrainian forces are still in control of some buildings in the southwest of Bakhmut, two days after Russia claimed to have captured the city, according to Ukraine’s deputy defense minister.

Hanna Maliar also claimed that Kyiv’s troops are advancing on the city’s flanks.

“Yesterday, the Ukrainian Armed Forces retained control of certain industrial facilities and private houses in the southwestern area, the area where the aircraft [monument] is,” Maliar said on Ukrainian television, referring to a monument of an MiG-17 in Druzhba Square.

“Today, we still have control of this small part of the city. The fighting continues,” she added.

Maliar said Russia had deployed “most of its forces” in the Bakhmut area.

In a separate post on Telegram, she said the two sides were still fighting for control of “the dominant heights on the flanks” north and south of the city’s suburbs.

Ukraine’s advance on the flanks had allowed it to shell the Russian troops in the city, she said.

“Due to our movement on the flanks on the north and south, we are able to shell and possibly carry out some destruction of the enemy. In some specific places controlled by the enemy in Bakhmut, they are forced to go on the defensive and hold it in some way, because it is not so easy,” she said.

Maliar added that because Ukrainian troops “moved along the flanks and took the dominant heights there, our Armed Forces made it very difficult for the enemy to be in the place itself. In fact, we continue to advance. The intensity is somewhat reduced. At the same time, we continue to move along this path.”

She claimed that Russian troops are looking for any “sabotage groups” who might resist the occupation of the city in the areas they control.

Tara Subramaniam