Russian forces are attempting to strengthen their positions on the flanks of Bakhmut's suburbs, relying on constant shelling to achieve this goal, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar reported on May 24.
According to Maliar, the overall number of Russian assaults has decreased as units are being replaced.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian troops are making "gradual progress," Maliar said. Ukrainian troops still control a portion of the southwestern area of the city.
On May 23, the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces reported that Russian forces unsuccessfully attempted to advance on the village of Khromove near Bakhmut.
After a 10-month-long campaign to capture Bakhmut, Wagner mercenary group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed complete control of the city on May 21.
The Kyiv Independent reported on May 22 that Bakhmut had effectively been occupied by Russian troops. While it has yet to be confirmed by the Ukrainian government, it is evident based on both official statements and those made by soldiers on the ground to the Kyiv Independent.
However, Ukrainian forces are still engaged in combat around Bakhmut, as Maliar reported on May 22.