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Ukraine says punctured Russian defence lines near Bakhmut

September 19, 2023

KYIV, Ukraine: Kyiv said on Monday its forces had broken through Russia´s defensive lines near the war-battered town of Bakhmut, one of the key axes of a slow-moving but high-stakes Ukrainian counteroffensive.

The claim comes after Ukrainian forces announced last week they had wrested back control of two villages south of the industrial hub, cementing the battle for Bakhmut as the longest and likely bloodiest of the invasion.

“Fierce fighting continues in the area of Bakhmut. As a result of the successful actions of our troops, the enemy´s defence line was broken,” Ukraine´s ground forces commander Oleksandr Syrskyi said.

Kyiv launched its bid to wrest back territory controlled by Moscow in June, after stockpiling Western-supplied weapons and recruiting assault battalions. Germany announced on Monday that it will give another 400 million euros ($428 million) of weapons and aid to Ukraine as it fights back against Russia.

Ukraine´s counteroffensive efforts have focused on both Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk region, as well as several points along the frontline in the south, towards Crimea. The defence ministry said on Monday it had recaptured a total of seven square kilometres last week near Bakhmut and also along the southern front. But Ukraine´s progress against entrenched Russian positions has been limited since June, spurring debate among Kyiv´s Western allies over its military strategy.