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Ukrainian forces are advancing on Bakhmut's southern flank, having liberated three square kilometers of land in the past week, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said on Aug. 21.
According to Maliar, Ukraine has regained 43 square kilometers around Donetsk Oblast's Bakhmut since the summer counteroffensive started.
"The news is now appearing along both the southern and the northern flanks. If you look at the map, it looks a bit like a horseshoe around Bakhmut," Maliar said on national television, as cited by Hromadske.
Russia is trying to push Ukrainian forces from the city's northern flanks as they have seized dominant heights in the area, according to the official.
"[Ukrainian troops] are harassing the enemy there. Actually, the occupiers are trapped because they cannot get out of Bakhmut and cannot carry out full-fledged advances," added Maliar.
On the same day, the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces reported that Russia conducted unsuccessful assaults near Kurdiumivka, some 20 kilometers south of Bakhmut, and Synkivka, around 15 kilometers from Kupiansk, Kharkiv Oblast.
Ukraine's military added that it kept holding back Russian advances near Marinka and conducting counteroffensive actions toward occupied Melitopol and Berdiansk in Zaporizhzhia Oblast.