Ukraine ‘gradually moving forward’ near Bakhmut, ‘on defense’ near eastern Kupiansk

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Ukrainian forces were making steady advances near the flashpoint city of Bakhmut, while they were taking a defensive stance against the Russians near the eastern city of Kupiansk.

“We are gradually moving forward in the Bakhmut direction. There is a daily advance on the southern flank around Bakhmut. On the northern flank, we are trying to hold the occupied positions, the enemy is attacking. In Bakhmut itself, we fire at the enemy, the enemy at us,” Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Defense Hanna Malyar said on Telegram.

As for the Kupiansk city, she said: “The enemy has been actively advancing in the Kupyan direction in the Kharkiv region for two days in a row. We are on the defensive. There are fierce battles, the positions of the parties change dynamically several times a day.”

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She added: “The enemy continues offensive actions in the Avdiiv and Marin areas. Our defenders continue to contain them effectively. Fierce battles continue with no change in positions.”

Throughout the past month, both Ukrainian and Russian forces reported intense clashes amid Kyiv’s push forward towards Russian-controlled areas as part of its counter-offensive to regain Russian-occupied territories.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported last month that the battles on the eastern front were especially “difficult,” as Russia’s forces were massing large numbers of troops on that front in an attempt to reclaim the initiative.

The eastern city of Bakhmut serves as a flashpoint target as it was seized by Russia after one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the conflict and would be a huge moral victory for Kyiv to wrest back control over it.

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