Ukrainians had seized high ground overlooking Bakhmut and opened the main highway leading into the city from the West said Yevgeny Prigozhin, Russia’s Wagner mercenary group. Prigozhin claims Russian troops which were deployed to hold territory his troops had seized in the city are “fleeing'” the area and not regrouping like the ministry says. He said: ”The situation on the flanks is shaping up according to the worst predicted scenario.
Capital of Russia Moscow, has acknowledged on Friday that its forces had fallen back north of Ukraine's battlefield city of Bakhmut following a new offensive, in a retreat that the Prigozhin called a rout.
Russian forces have likely withdrawn from their positions on the southern flank of Bakhmut operations in bad order over the last four days, Britain's defence ministry said in its daily intelligence update on Saturday.
According to Russian-installed officials on Friday missiles fired by Ukrainian forces had injured six children and a Russian parliamentarian and damaged two disused factories in eastern Luhansk region's main city, about 100 km (60 miles) behind the front lines.
The Ukrainian military said in a daily update that Russia was focussing its efforts near Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Marinka. "The enemy carried out 36 attacks in these directions in the last 24 hours."
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s president is expected to arrive in Rome Saturday morning, and will meet with top government officials as well as Pope Francis, according to Italian media. He’s likely to have a press conference with PM Giorgia Meloni. Details of the visit haven’t been officially confirmed by Ukraine for security reasons. Meloni visited Zelenskyy in Kyiv in February.