Ukraine’s forces are holding on to a key route in and out of the fiercely contested city of Bakhmut, according to a deputy commander in the Ukrainian National Guard.
“The Armed Forces of Ukraine are holding the Bakhmut-Kostiantynivka highway, it is fairly stable," said Volodymyr Nazarenko, who ranks second-in-command in the Svoboda battalion. "Situation around Bakhmut as well as on its outskirts is very much like hell, as it is on the entire eastern front.”
The Bakhmut-Kostiantynivka highway is a crucial route for getting supplies into the city.
Nazarenko also said there have been no “tactical changes” on the Ukrainian side, adding, “we are holding the defense.”
“The enemy is searching for weaknesses, trying to distract our forces by fighting, pulling away our reserves, trying to combine different methods and tactics. Yet they fail,” he said.
Nazarenko dismissed the growing speculation of a possible Ukrainian withdrawal from the city.
“There is no withdrawal. On the contrary, some new reserves are coming in as reinforcement to hold the defense. The entire combat area is under chaotic shelling but there is connection with the city, there are routes that are not cut off,” he said.
“In this hell, every day feels like eternity. It is really hard to count how many months Bakhmut has been holding strong. Yet they cannot capture the city,” the deputy commander continued.