The most intense battles on the front line continue to be in areas within the cities of Bakhmut and Marinka in eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian military said Saturday.
In Bakhmut, forces “continue to push the enemy on the northern and southern flanks,” said Serhii Cherevatyi, spokesperson for the Eastern Grouping of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
The Russian military has conducted 415 recent artillery attacks and three air raids, he said. Troops engaged in active combat seven times during that period.
In the Marinka area — south of Bakhmut, near the city of Donetsk — Russian forces continue relentless attacks, according to Valerii Shershen, a military press center spokesperson.
“This is the hottest spot,” he said. “There were 15 combat engagements in the last day, most of them took place in Mariinka.”
The city, which is now in ruins, has been on the front lines since the beginning of the invasion, with fighting at close-quarters among the rubble continuing almost daily.
Elsewhere on the eastern front: North of Bakhmut near the cities of Lyman and Kupyansk, Russia shelled Ukrainian positions 377 Russian times, launched three assaults and conducted 12 air raids, Cherevatyi said.
“Russians are constantly shuffling personnel,” he said. “Recently they have moved an airborne regiment from the Lyman sector to the north of Bakhmut, replacing it with territorial defense troops,” he said. “The enemy is concentrating their best forces in the areas of our attack. Number one is Bakhmut right now.”
The Ukrainian spokesperson claimed Kyiv’s forces are taking dozens of Russian prisoners every week. CNN cannot independently verify claims on battlefield developments.
To the south of Bakhmut near the town of Vuhledar, Russian shelling has increased around frontline areas.
“They do not launch any offensive actions but increase shelling. The number of enemy infantry has increased as well,” said Nazarii Kishak, commander of the machine gun unit with the 72nd Separate Mechanized Brigade.
And near Berdiansk, on the far southern end of the eastern front, “our troops continue to consolidate their positions at secured positions and carry out mine clearance. They are on high alert to continue the offensive,” Shershen said.
The entire front line in the south of Zaporizhzhia region is mined, he said. Russian forces have been “mining both manually and remotely, as well as with MLRS (multiple launch rocket systems),” he said.