RUSSIAN troops were last night closing in on a ravaged Ukrainian city as thousands fled.
Intense fighting was raging around Bakhmut in the east.
Burning blasts in the eastern city of Bakhmut, Ukraine[/caption]
Ukrainian troops pack into vehicle as they head to fight[/caption]
Defiant Ukrainians defend thier territory and fire shells[/caption]
A road to Chasiv Yar, seven miles to the west — the last major supply route to Bakhmut — was under constant shelling.
He said of the Russian attack: “Their only goal is killing people and the genocide of the Ukrainian people. The tactic that the Russians are using is that of parched land.
“They want to destroy Bakhmut, the whole city, and I can’t understand why they’re doing this.”
He added: “The city is almost destroyed and there’s not a single building that has remained untouched in this war.”
Yesterday Russian shells killed a woman and wounded two men as they crossed a makeshift bridge out of the city.
Locals had been told to flee on foot as it was too risky to travel by vehicle.
Resident Hennadiy Mazepa and his wife Natalia Ishkova are staying despite a lack of food.
Natalia said: “There is no electricity, no water, no gas. I pray to God all who remain here survive.”
President Zelensky said last month: “Nobody will give away Bakhmut. We will fight for as long as we can. We consider Bakhmut our fortress.”
Former Nato top brass Gen Sir Richard Shirreff said the city is of little strategic value, but: “The Ukrainians have arguably achieved a strategic success thus far in forcing the Russians to expend vast amounts of manpower and equipment.”
Ukrainian servicemen stand in a shelter in Bakhmut[/caption]
Ukrainian soldiers in a bunker prepare to fire British-made weapons on Russian trenches[/caption]
Ukrainian service members ride on a tank outside of the frontline town of Bakhmut[/caption]