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Ukrainian forces are still fighting in Bakhmut, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar reported.
"The struggle for dominant heights continues on the flanks – the north and south of the suburbs," Maliar said. "Our fighters do not give the enemy the opportunity to gain a foothold there."
She noted that Russian forces are conducting a sweep of captured parts of Bakhmut, bringing in further reinforcements and supplies.
"Bakhmut's defense forces are fulfilling their military tasks," Maliar said/ "The offensive potential of the enemy has been significantly reduced, huge losses have been inflicted on the enemy, we have gained certain actions, which will be discussed later."
After a 10-month-long siege, Wagner Group head Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed complete control of Bakhmut on May 21.
The Kyiv Independent reported on May 22 that Bakhmut has now effectively been occupied by Russian troops. While it has yet to be confirmed by Kyiv, it is evident based on both official statements and those made by soldiers on the ground to the Kyiv Independent.
On the flanks, the Ukrainian military seems to be gaining initiative, threatening to encircle the occupying forces.