Russian shelling was seen hitting routes leading west out of Bakhmut, in what appears to be an attempt to block Ukrainian forces’ access in and out of the city.
Amid mounting speculation that Ukraine’s defenders might be preparing to withdraw, Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of the national security and defence council of Ukraine, said that in the battles for Bakhmut its defenders had inflicted casualties on the Russian attackers at a ratio of 7:1.
“It is difficult there, but keep in mind that every day our boys and girls send hundreds of them to where they are supposed to go, given that they came here to kill us,” Danilov said.
Volodymyr Nazarenko, a deputy commander in the National Guard of Ukraine, told Ukrainian NV Radio the situation was “critical”, with fighting going on “round the clock”.
The commander of a Ukrainian drone unit active in Bakhmut, Robert Brovdi, who goes by the name “Madyar”, said in a video posted on social media that his unit had been ordered by the military to withdraw immediately. He said he had been fighting there for 110 days.