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General Staff: Russia tries to capture entire Bakhmut, fierce fighting rages for Marinka
Russian forces continue their offensive on Bakhmut in their latest attempts to completely capture the largely ruined city in Donetsk Oblast after eight months of hostilities, the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces reported on April 8.
In a Facebook post, the General Staff said that Ukrainian forces repelled a Russian offensive near the village of Bohdanivka northwest of the nearly-encircled Bakhmut.
In the southern part of Donetsk Oblast, the General Staff reported that the "fiercest battle" rages for Marinka, another one of the cities in Ukraine that has been reduced to rubble due to Russia's relentless attacks.
Ukraine's latest military reports come a few days after Russia’s mercenary Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin admitted that Ukrainian forces were not retreating from Bakhmut yet. Even as the battle for Bakhmut becomes tougher for Ukrainian forces deployed in and around the city, Kyiv made it clear that it will continue defending the city – at least for the time being.
Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar explained on April 6 that large-scale and “serious analytical work” is regularly conducted to analyze the likely development of the situation. The official refrained from disclosing further details of the battlefield situation in Bakhmut.
As the situation in Bakhmut continues to be difficult, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on April 5 that “there would certainly be corresponding correct decisions” taken regarding Bakhmut if the threat of encirclement rises.
The claims made by Wagner, a notorious Kremlin-backed paramilitary group that the U.S. officially labeled in late January as a transnational criminal organization, come a few days after Prigozhin claimed to have captured Bakhmut’s city hall.
Kyiv immediately dismissed Prigozhin’s claim of a “legal” victory over Bakhmut on April 2, saying the fighting continues in and around the city.