Ukraine is sending elite units to Bakhmut as Russian forces make further advances, the UK MoD said.
Ukrainian forces are now vulnerable to Russian attacks from three sides of the city, it said.
Two bridges in Bakhmut have been destroyed, and Ukraine’s supply routes are being squeezed.
Thanks for signing up!
Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you’re on the go.
Ukraine is reinforcing the bloodsoaked city of Bakhmut with elite units as Russian forces make further advances, the UK Ministry of Defence said Saturday.
“Ukraine is reinforcing the area with elite units, and within the last 36 hours, two key bridges in Bakhmut have been destroyed, including a vital bridge connecting the city to the last main supply route from Bakhmut to the city of Chasiv Yar. Ukrainian-held resupply routes out of the town are increasingly limited,” the MoD said.
The Russian army and Wagner Group forces have been making advances into the city’s northern suburbs amid intense fighting, and Ukrainian forces are now vulnerable to Russian attacks from three sides, the department said in an intelligence update.
A Ukrainian commander said on Friday that the situation in Bakhmut is “critical” as there are more Russian troops surrounding the city than there is ammunition to kill them.
“We need as much ammunition as possible,” he said, according to Reuters’ translation. “There are many more Russians here than we have ammunition to destroy them.”
The city’s deputy mayor told the BBC on Saturday that while the city is “almost destroyed,” Russia does not have control of it.
The head of Russia’s mercenary Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, claimed that the city is “practically encircled” and that there are limited routes out, the BBC reported.
Bahkmut has been the center of some of the most deadly fighting in the war for both Russia and Ukraine.
Taking control of the city would be a rare battlefield triumph for Russia, which has had limited successes in recent months.
Bakhmut has been referred to as “the meat grinder” by soldiers, and a retired US Marine fighting alongside Ukrainian forces said a fighter’s life expectancy on the front lines in Bakhmut was around 4 hours.