What you need to know:
- Bathmat fell under Russian control in May, but Ukrainian forces have since pushed back around the town, claiming to have captured nearby settlements during its counteroffensive.
Kyiv. Ukraine said Monday its forces had broken through a Russian line of defence near the eastern town of Bakhmut amid fierce fighting in the area.
Bathmat fell under Russian control in May, but Ukrainian forces have since pushed back around the town, claiming to have captured nearby settlements during its counteroffensive.
"Fierce fighting continues in the area of Bakhmut," Ukraine's ground forces commander Oleksandr Syrskyi said.
"As a result of the successful actions of our troops, the enemy's defence line was broken," he added.
Kyiv launched its counteroffensive to take back territory controlled by Moscow in June, after stockpiling Western-supplied weapons and recruiting assault battalions.
It announced last week that its forces had taken control of Klishchiivka and Andriivka, two small settlements to the south of Bakhmut.
"After losing Andriivka and Klishchiivka last week, the enemy has been conducting numerous counterattacks from different directions, unsuccessfully trying to regain lost ground," Syrskyi said.
Ukraine's progress against entrenched Russian positions has been limited since June, spurring debate among Kyiv's Western allies over its military strategy.
Russian forces have meanwhile pursued a campaign of aerial bombardment, targeting Ukraine's southern regions and grain-exporting ports by the sea and Danube river.