Ukrainian troops are advancing along the flanks in the suburbs of Bakhmut and are actually close to taking the city in tactical encirclement, the commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Col-Gen Oleksandr Syrskyy, has said on Telegram.
In particular, he noted that Ukrainian troops currently control a small part of Bakhmut, but its defence is very important because it provides opportunities to enter the city in case the situation changes.
"We continue to advance along the flanks in the suburbs of Bakhmut and are actually close to the city's tactical encirclement. This will allow us to control all high-rise buildings occupied by the enemy and gradually destroy them. This deprives the enemy of control over the approaches to the city and gives us certain tactical advantages. The situation is difficult, but under control," said Syrskyy.
On the evening of 20 May, Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar said that a critical situation was developing in Bakhmut.
On 21 May, President Zelensky denied that during his meeting with US President Biden he said that the Ukrainian Armed Forces had lost control of Bakhmut.
The spokesman for the Eastern Group of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Serhiy Cherevatyy, said that the Defence Forces continue to hold positions in the southwestern part of the city.