Russian and Ukrainian forces reported fierce fighting on Monday for control of the center of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine. This is the longest running and bloodiest battle of Moscow’s invasion.


For months, the industrial city has been the epicenter of fighting, and now the Russian Wagner mercenary group has claimed to be leading the charge for Moscow.

“Wagner assault units are advancing from several directions,” the Ukrainian military reported, “trying to break through our troops’ defensive positions and move to the center of the city.”

Our defenders are engaging the enemy in fierce battles, and causing them significant losses, the briefing said that morning.

Although the strategic value of Bakhmut as a military prize is hotly debated among experts, there can be little doubt about the city’s rising political profile as a result of the two sides’ massive investments in the conflict.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner group, has admitted that his troops are facing fierce opposition as they try to take the city’s downtown.

It’s a tough spot in Bakhmut right now. He warned his followers on social media that the enemy was fighting for every inch of territory.

“The battles get harder and there’s more artillery the closer we get to the city center. In Prigozhin’s words, “Ukrainians are throwing endless reserves” into the conflict.