Live updates: Russia's war in Ukraine

There have been no confirmed advances by Russian forces in Bakhmut, according to think tank the Institute for the Study of War.

The report published late Saturday said that despite Russian forces and units from the paramilitary Wagner Group launching continued ground attacks in the city, there is no evidence that they made any progress.

“Russian forces did not make any confirmed advances within Bakhmut on March 11.

“Ukrainian and Russian sources continue to report heavy fighting in the city, but Wagner Group fighters are likely becoming increasingly pinned in urban areas, such as the AZOM industrial complex, and are therefore finding it difficult to make significant advances,” the ISW said.

The exact picture of what is happening in Bakhmut is difficult to establish. On Saturday Wagner’s chief said his forces were close to the city center.

Some context: For the first time in eight months, it appears the Russians are on the cusp of taking a Ukrainian city, albeit a small one already abandoned by more than 90% of its prewar population.

Ukrainian defenses in and around the eastern city of Bakhmut have been squeezed in recent weeks by a combination of intense artillery, mortar fire, and airstrikes and a substantial commitment of ground forces, both Russian regulars and fighters of the Wagner private military company.

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By Akshay

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