Ukraine attempted to break through Bakhmut, Russia says

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Russia's Defence Ministry says Ukrainian forces have made "mass attempts" to break through its defences in the eastern city of Bakhmut over the past 24 hours, as pressure on its troops continues to mount.

It said in a Sunday briefing that Ukraine had waged attacks in the north and south of the city, but that it had not broken through Russian defences.

"All attacks by units of Ukraine's armed forces have been repelled," it said.

Reuters was not able to independently verify Russia's account.

Neither side has been able to take full control of Bakhmut, despite months of grinding warfare that has inflicted heavy losses on both sides.

Moscow acknowledged on Friday its forces had fallen back north of the city amid a surge of Ukrainian attacks, but Kyiv has played down suggestions a huge, long-planned counteroffensive has officially begun.