Russia is deploying reserve forces north of Bakhmut in an attempt to deter Ukraine's advancing counteroffensive in Donetsk Oblast, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Armed Forces in eastern Ukraine said on Oct. 7.
"Right now, intense combat operations are ongoing," said Illia Yevlash, head of press services for Ukraine's forces on the eastern front, as reported by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
"The enemy continues to deploy counter-assault units in this direction to prevent us from advancing in our offensive. They are employing all available forces and reserves because they understand that losing this flank could have quite diverse consequences for them."
Yevlash further emphasized that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are attempting to thwart any Russian advance by inflicting "maximum damage" on Russian troops in the vicinity of Bakhmut.
In recent weeks, Ukraine's military has continued to advance around the front-line city of Bakhmut, inflicting losses on Russian forces and deterring attacks.
On Sept. 19, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported evidence of "severe degradation" of Russian forces in the Bakhmut sector, pointing to Moscow's need to deploy reserves.