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Ukraine says Russia switching to “scorched earth“ tactics in Bakhmut


The commander of the Ukrainian ground forces said on Monday that Russian troops had switched to “scorched earth” tactics in the embattled eastern city of Bakhmut and were destroying buildings and positions with air strikes and artillery.

Russia’s assault on Bakhmut, a small city in the Donetsk region, has been the focus of the biggest battle of Moscow’s full-scale invasion launched in February 2022.

“The enemy switched to the so-called scorched earth tactics from Syria. It is destroying buildings and positions with air strikes and artillery fire,” said Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, commander of Ukraine’s ground forces.

Ukraine’s defence of the city of Bakhmut continued, he said.

“The situation is difficult but controllable,” he said in comments quoted by Ukraine’s Media Military Centre.

He said Russian forces were bringing in special forces and airborne assault units to help their attack on the city as members of Russia’s Wagner military group had become “exhausted”.

Reuters could not verify the battlefield account.

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Smoke is seen during a shelling, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, on the outskirts of the front line city of Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine April 6, 2023. REUTERS/Oleksandr Klymenko

Ukrainian servicemen fire a self-propelled howitzer towards Russian troops, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, near the front line city of Bakhmut, Ukraine April 7, 2023. REUTERS/Oleksandr Klymenko