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Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

Bakhmut, an embattled eastern Ukrainian city, has become the scene of some of the fiercest and heaviest fighting in the ongoing conflict. Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister, Hanna Maliar, says the fighting is continuing despite the enemy concentrating its “most professional units” there, including people from the Russian Wagner group, airborne assault units and special forces. Maliar added that while the Russians cannot take full control of the city, the battle was exacting huge losses on both sides. The two sides report their losses as higher than the other. Buildings near the front have been flattened to ruins; geolocated social media videos reveal the scale of destruction to the decimated city. Some of the enemy’s forces have been moved to Bakhmut from Avdiivka to consolidate the Russian offensive, and each day the enemy makes up to 50 attempts at military assaults using the full range of available weapons.In the last two weeks, nearly 4,500 Wagner fighters and regular Russian Army servicemen were killed and wounded in the area of Bakhmut, which the Russian military and political leadership is neglecting to acknowledge. Bakhmut’s capture would represent an important strategic victory for Moscow and bring some limited strategic value. CNN cannot verify either side’s battlefield claims.

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