Within the past few days, Ukrainian forces have liberated substantial areas to the north and south of the embattled eastern city of Bakhmut in Donetsk region, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar has claimed.
“Our troops liberated about 20 square kilometers (more than 7 square miles) of the Bakhmut suburbs in the north and south of the city,” Maliar said on her Telegram channel.
Her claim cannot be verified and many observers think Ukrainian progress has been more modest than that.
Maliar acknowledged that Russia is also making advances in Bakhmut, bringing in paratroopers and "destroying the city with artillery."
“The enemy has an advantage in terms of numbers of people and weapons. At the same time, due to the actions of our military, it has not been able to implement its plans in the Bakhmut sector since last summer,” she added.