Russia on Saturday denied a Ukrainian claim to have recaptured the devastated eastern village of Andriivka, a stepping stone on the way to the town of Bakhmut.
"The enemy did not abandon plans to capture the city of Artyomovsk [Bakhmut] of the Donetsk People's Republic and continued to conduct assault operations ... unsuccessfully trying to oust Russian troops from the population centers of Klishchiivka and Andriivka," the Russian defense ministry said in its daily briefing.
The geographical significance of Andriivka
Andriivka lies south of largely-ruined Bakhmut, a mainly symbolic prize that Russian forces seized in May after the fiercest and longest battle since Moscow's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
The Ukrainian General Staff on Friday also reported "partial success" near Klishchiivka, also south of Bakhmut.
Reuters was unable to verify the battlefield reports.