Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

Ukrainian servicemen fire artillery towards Russian positions near the Bakhmut frontline on Friday. (Narciso Contreras/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Forces fighting for the Russian government have now taken control of most of the eastern part of the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, where intense fighting has raged for months, according to the latest intelligence update from the UK Defense Ministry posted on Twitter.

The ministry said the river in the town center now marks the front line of the conflict.

Ukrainian forces still hold the west of Bakhmut. By demolishing key bridges and taking firing positions in fortified buildings, Ukraine’s military has made it difficult for Russian-aligned troops to move forward — even turning one strip of open ground into a “killing zone,” the ministry said.

However, the British assessment said Ukrainian supply lines still remain vulnerable to attacks.

A change of tactics: Mykhailo Podolyak, a key aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Putin, said Russia appears to be changing tactics in Bakhmut.

Russia “has converged on Bakhmut with a large part of its trained military personnel, the remnants of its professional army, as well as the private companies,” Podolyak told Italy’s La Stampa newspaper

Troops from the Russian mercenary group Wagner have been heavily involved in the fight for Bakhmut.

Podolyak said Kyiv is fighting in Bakhmut, a city largely already abandoned and destroyed, to eliminate and bog down Russian troops.

Reuters contributed to this post

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