The Ukrainian military says Russia launched nearly 50 airstrikes over the last day as intense fighting puts pressure on forward Russian positions west of the city of Bakhmut.
The military’s General Staff said Thursday that Russia also carried out six missile attacks.
Russian forces continue to advance around Bakhmut and have carried out a number of airstrikes in the area, Kyiv's military said. But Ukrainian forces have exploited gaps in Russian flanks south and west of the city to recapture some territory, according to the General Staff.
One officer deployed in the area said Ukraine was in an “active offensive phase” around Bakhmut, after months of mainly defensive action.
“Right now, dynamic events are taking place on both the southern and northern flanks of Bakhmut, but we will not talk about the result yet,” Maj. Maksym Zhorin said on Telegram.
Russian writers weigh in: Some Russian military bloggers have painted a gloomy picture of Russia's prospects around Bakhmut.
One of them, Sasha Simonov, said units of Russia’s 4th Army Brigade had withdrawn from an area west of the city. This is consistent with Ukrainian reports of advances there earlier this week.
Ukrainian fighters have also attempted a breakthrough near Bohdanivka, which is northwest of Bakhmut, Simonov said.
Elsewhere: Russia's efforts to advance in eastern Ukraine are focused on four parts of the front line in the Donetsk region, Ukraine's military said. Russia has failed in recent efforts to break through to the town of Lyman in Donetsk, it added.
In the northeastern Kharkiv region, it appears there has been less fighting around Kupyansk, which Russia frequently targeted with shelling and ground attacks earlier this year, the General Staff said.