The city’s deputy mayor, Oleksandr Marchenko, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “There is fighting in the city and there are also street fights, but thanks to the Ukrainian armed forces they still haven’t taken control over the city.”
He said of the Russian attack: “Their only goal is killing people and the genocide of the Ukrainian people … the tactic that the Russians are using is the tactic of parched land. They want to destroy Bakhmut, they want to destroy the city … and I honestly can’t understand why they’re doing this.”
He added: “The city is almost destroyed and there’s not a single building that has remained untouched in this war. There are completely destroyed, districts, buildings and apartment blocks.”
Gen Sir Richard Shirreff, a former Nato deputy supreme allied commander for Europe, said if Russia succeeded in taking Bakhmut, it would be a “Pyrrhic victory”.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The Ukrainians have arguably achieved a strategic success thus far in forcing the Russians to expend vast amounts of manpower and equipment in what is likely to be, if they take it, a Pyrrhic victory.”