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UK Defense Ministry: 'Heavy, short-range combat' continues in western Bakhmut

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 26, 2023 10:06 AM 2 min read
A Ukrainian soldier of the 57th Brigade is seen in a BMP near the frontline in the direction of Bakhmut, in Donetsk Oblast, on April 20, 2023. (Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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In the western districts of Donetsk Oblast's contested city of Bakhmut, "heavy, short-range" fighting continues between Ukrainian and Russian forces, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported on April 26.

"A key development over the last week has been fighting on the outskirts of the town, especially near the village of Khromove, as Ukraine seeks to maintain control of its 0506 supply route," the ministry wrote in its latest intelligence update.

The minor rural road linking the towns of Chasiv Yar and Khromove has become a critical supply line for Ukrainian defenders. Other resupply options to Bakhmut are likely perplexed by muddy conditions on ungrounded tracks, reads the update.

However, according to Finnish open-source intelligence analyst Emil Kastehelmi, the northern 0506 road hasn't been in active use by Ukrainian soldiers for several weeks as of April 21. Another road into Bakhmut, still formally under Ukrainian control, is the T0504 further south through Ivanivske.

As the 9-month-long battle for Bakhmut rages on, the Ukrainian defenses of the eastern city are now integrated into a much deeper defense zone that includes the town of Chasiv Yar to the west, the ministry added.

In its April 26 morning update, the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces wrote that Russian troops were concentrating on conducting offensive actions in the Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Marinka sectors. Ukraine's military reportedly repelled 39 Russian attacks in those areas over the previous 24 hours.

Russian forces also carried out "unsuccessful" offensive actions toward the settlements of Khromove, Bohdanivka, and Klishchiivka, according to the General Staff.

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