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Ukraine military spokesman denies troops withdrawal from Bakhmut

by The Kyiv Independent news desk March 4, 2023 4:26 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian servicemen prepare to fire a Msta-B howitzer toward Russian positions near the frontline town of Bakhmut on March 2, 2023, (DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images)
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Russian forces have not taken the city of Bakhmut, according to Serhiy Cherevatyi, a spokesman for the eastern grouping of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Cherevaty told CNN that fighting is ongoing on the outskirts of the beleaguered Ukrainian city. When asked about certain units' withdrawal, he said that Ukrainian troops are rotating in and out of their positions in a planned manner.

Some news outlets reported that Ukraine's withdrawal has begun.

The Institute for the Study of War stated that Ukrainian forces appear to be preparing conditions for a planned withdrawal from the city. Two bridges near Bakhmut have been destroyed, according to geolocated footage posted on March 3. This includes a vital bridge connecting the town to the last major supply route from Bakhmut to the neighboring town of Chasiv Yar.

The Russian forces have been trying to take Bakhmut since May 2022 without success. The Donetsk Oblast town continues to see some of the war's heaviest fighting since the full-scale invasion began.

Ukrainian forces in the town of Kostiantynivka told the Kyiv Independent that Russian attacks have intensified even more in the past several weeks. British intelligence said in its daily update that regular Russian forces and the Wagner Group mercenaries have advanced further into the town's northern suburbs. Ukraine is said to be reinforcing the area with elite units.

Ukrainian commander Volodymyr Nazarenko said the situation in Bakhmut, a city in eastern Ukraine, is "critical" and that there are more Russian troops surrounding the city than there is ammunition to kill them all.

In a video posted on social media, Russia's Wagner private army chief Yevgeny Prigozhin said that only one road out of Bakhmut remains under Ukrainian control and called on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to abandon the city.

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