Ukraine fights on in Bakhmut despite repeated Russian bombardment
Ukrainian military held their positions in Bakhmut, a devastated eastern city, while Russian troops sought their first major win in almost six months.
Russia claims that conquering the salt-mining town of Bakhmut, currently the site of the longest and bloodiest conflict since Moscow invaded its neighbour just over a year ago, would put it on track to gaining complete control of the remainder of the vital Donbas industrial area, one of its major goals.
Ukraine claims Bakhmut has no strategic relevance but continues to fight.
"Difficult fights are occurring for our Bakhmut," stated Oleksiy Reva, the city's military administrator.
The city, previously home to around 70,000 people, is now only inhabited by 4,500 people.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces' General Command said that Russian forces were attempting to move towards Bakhmut "without interruption" in a statement on Wednesday night. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed his soldiers "are keeping each section of the front under control".
Not everyone in Ukraine believes it can continue to protect the city.
"I feel we will have to leave Bakhmut sooner or later. It makes no sense to keep it at whatever cost...," Ukrainian MP Serhiy Rakhmanin said on Ukrainian NV radio on Wednesday night.
"But, for the time being, Bakhmut will be defended with several goals in mind: first, to inflict as many Russian losses as possible and forcing Russia to exhaust its ammunition and resources."
Rakhmanin said that defensive lines should not be allowed to fail.