Military: Russia's troops attempting to surround Bakhmut, suffering heavy losses

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Russia has used all its forces in Bakhmut in an effort to completely surround the city, Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, commander of the Ground Forces of Ukraine, said on March 17.

According to Syrskyi, fierce fighting is ongoing in Kreminna, Torske, Bilohorivka, and Spirne in Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts. However, Bakhmut remains the "epicenter" of the war.

Fighting is going on to the north, east, and south of Bakhmut, Syrskyi said. Russia's troops are suffering heavy casualties and, in some cases, retreating without making any significant gains.

The battle of Bakhmut has been raging for the past seven months, and despite the heavy fighting, Ukraine continues to hold on to the city.

Donetst Oblast Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on March 16 that less than 3,000 of the industrial city's prewar population remained, including 33 children.

Russia's troops are also unsuccessfully trying to break through Ukrainian defenses in the directions of Lyman in Donetsk Oblast and Kupiansk in Kharkiv Oblast, according to the General Staff's nightly update on March 17.

According to the General Staff, Russia launched 19 airstrikes in the past day and carried out 26 attacks from multiple launch rocket systems.

Ukraine's Air Force carried out six airstrikes on areas of concentrated Russian military personnel and weapons, the General Staff wrote.