Russian forces shelled and bombed towns and cities in eastern and southern Ukraine a day after Russia’s foreign minister said Kyiv must accept Moscow’s demands for ending the war or else suffer defeat on the battlefield.
Those demands include Ukraine recognising Russia’s conquest of a fifth of its territory. Kyiv, armed and supported by the US and its Nato allies, has vowed to recover all occupied territory.
Britain’s defence ministry said fighting was particularly intense around the strategic eastern city of Bakhmut in Donetsk province and Svatove, further north in Luhansk province.
Donetsk and Luhansk, which make up the industrial Donbas, are both claimed, along with two southern Ukrainian regions, by Russia. “Russia continues to initiate frequent small-scale assaults in these areas (of Bakhmut and Svatove), although little territory has changed hands,” the British ministry tweeted.