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The Ukrainian defense of Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk Oblast is under "increasingly severe pressure," with intense fighting taking place in and around the city, the U.K. Defense Ministry said in its daily intelligence update on March 4.
According to the ministry, the Russian army and Wagner Group mercenaries have advanced into the northern suburb of Bakhmut, "which is now a Ukrainian-held salient, vulnerable to Russian attacks on three sides."
"Within the last 36 hours, two key bridges in Bakhmut have been destroyed, including a vital bridge connecting the city to the last main supply route from Bakhmut to the city of Chasiv Yar," the ministry said.
"Ukrainian-held resupply routes out of the town are increasingly limited," the ministry added.
The Kremlin-controlled mercenary group Wagner, along with the Russian regular forces, have been attempting to capture Bakhmut for months as Moscow tries to consolidate its grip over the entirety of Ukraine's Donetsk Oblast, around half of which it currently occupies.
On March 3, the founder o Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, claimed that Bakhmut was "practically surrounded" by Wagner forces and called on Ukrainian troops to withdraw.
Ukraine's Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, commander of Ukraine's Ground Forces, visited Bakhmut on the same day.
Ukraine's military is reportedly weighing the option of withdrawing from Bakhmut as it becomes increasingly difficult to hold the city.
Eastern Operational Command spokesman Serhiy Cherevaty said on March 2 that the Armed Forces have the option to withdraw from Bakhmut, but such a decision will only be made if it is "absolutely necessary."