Ukraine says it prevented Russia cutting off eastern supply line

A Ukrainian serviceman looks on in Bakhmut

KYIV (Reuters) - Ukraine said on Tuesday its forces had repelled Russian attacks on a road near the eastern town of Bakhmut, preventing Moscow gaining control of an important Ukrainian supply line.

Russian troops have been unable to cut off the road leading from the town Chasiv Yar to Bakhmut, military spokesperson Serhiy Cherevaty said in televised comments.

"Russian troops could not cut off the road which is used for supplying the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The Ukrainian army in Bakhmut is supplied with everything necessary," he said.

He said Bakhmut remained one of the main focuses of Russian attacks, including artillery strikes and infantry assaults.

Earlier on Tuesday, Russia said its forces had taken control of Blahodatne, a small village just north of Bakhmut.

Reuters was not able to independently verify battlefield accounts by either side.

Ukrainian troops, the Russian military and Russian private military contractor Wagner Group have been locked for months in a fierce battle of attrition in the Bakhmut area.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said needed more weapons to repel Moscow's forces because Russia had stepped up attacks.

He wrote on Twitter that "systematic shelling of frontline cities, accumulation of ordnance, redeployment of troops, additional forced mobilization surely do not indicate RF’s (Russia's) readiness for peace."

"These are direct signs of significant escalation. Therefore, weapons, weapons & more weapons for Ukraine," he wrote.

Since winning Western pledges last week to provide main battle tanks, Kyiv has requested more weapons including fighter jets.

(Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic and Kyiv newsroom; Editing by Timothy Heritage)