Fighting in the long-contested eastern city of Bakhmut is “very intense," Ukrainian military press officer Mykyta Shandyba said Sunday on national TV.
“The Russian military is trying to take the city by May 9. They are currently failing," Shandyba said. "They are using artillery, mortars and tank shelling to destroy the city. Often, battles with them are close-contact battles. Destroying the enemy with small arms and grenades, not artillery."
The military spokesperson said Russian forces are constantly shelling Ukrainian positions:
“There are no pauses — the enemy is firing nonstop. First, the enemy artillery works, and then they try to break through our defense. When they fail, they start firing from artillery again.”
CNN cannot independently verify battlefield developments in Bakhmut.
A sprint to capture the city: A Ukrainian fighter in Bakhmut named Yurii Syrotiuk — call-sign “Mamai” — told national TV that Russian fighters seem pressed to conclude the battle quickly.
“The enemy is in a rush; the enemy is trying to put pressure, trying to attack the areas of high-rise buildings in Bakhmut,” he said.
Syrotiuk claimed Moscow's troops are running out of supplies and faith in their mission, so they have turned more destructive, demolishing homes and buildings.
Russia's fighters cannot attack along the entire width of the front line in Bakhmut, so battles focus on narrow areas, he continued. Syrotiuk claimed his team had managed to advance almost half a mile in one sector.
Perilous supply routes: Ukraine's troops struggle to carry out logistical operations under the cover of dark, hoping to avoid shelling on the roads in and out of town, the military spokesperson Shandyba said.
The most danger comes from a key supply route between the towns of Chasiv Yar and Khromove, where Ukrainian military officials have previously described constant Russian shelling.
“Only armored vehicles can get to Bakhmut. So it is complicated,” Shandyba said.
Wagner's call for supplies: Syrotiuk also addressed a claim from Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the private military company that has played a key role in Bakhmut, who says his mercenaries are running out of ammunition.
The Ukrainian fighter said Wagner forces seem to have an "unlimited number" of shells, but "their artillery is firing every minute, every few seconds."
"The do not choose targets, they just cover the squares," he said.
Despite the constant barrage, Syrotiuk claims Prigozhin's fighters are now having a hard time penetrating high-rise buildings occupied by Ukraine's forces.