According to Ukrainian information, the Russian troops have recently stepped up their attacks in eastern Ukraine. Particularly massive attacks are reported on the two cities of Wuhledar and Bachmut; Both sides reported bitter fighting around Wuhledar on Friday.

Only recently did Russian soldiers and fighters from the Wagner mercenary group take over the small town of Soledar, north of Bakhmut. It was the first notable victory for Russian forces and their allies after several setbacks in recent months.

According to a Ukrainian soldier, Russian soldiers are also advancing on Bakhmut, which they have been trying to take control of for months. “There is constant shooting, day and night, they are trying to find weak points in our defense,” Yuri told AFP news agency while standing in a trench in Bakhmut.

According to the US-based Institute for the Study of War, Moscow is trying to disperse the outnumbered Ukrainian forces with the attacks to “create the conditions for a decisive offensive campaign.”

Russia has mobilized hundreds of thousands of reservists and convicts to try to break through the Ukrainian lines and take over the entire Donbass, a vast coal and industrial area in eastern Ukraine.