Fierce fighting continues near the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, with Russia launching dozens of attacks over the last 24 hours, Ukraine's military said in a March 25 briefing.
The Ukrainian General Staff said there had been 59 clashes along the Bakhmut front in the areas of Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiyivka, Maryinka, and Shaktarsk, the same areas that have seen intense fighting over the last several weeks.
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Ukraine's military says it has seen no letup in Russian operations in the Bakhmut area, despite claims by some analysts that Moscow's monthslong offensive is weakening.
On March 24, Ukrainian commander in chief updated a British military leader on the ongoing battle for Bakhmut, advising him that while the fighting was "difficult," Ukrainian forces had been able to stabilize the situation.
Valeriy Zaluzhniy spoke with Admiral Tony Radakin, Britain's chief of the Defense Staff, informing him about the operational situation along the entire front line.
"The Bakhmut direction is the most difficult. Thanks to the titanic efforts of the defense forces, it is possible to stabilize the situation," Zaluzhniy said.
The claims could not be independently verified.
The U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War wrote that "the wider Russian spring offensive appears to be culminating" and that "Russian military command will need to commit a significant number of forces to the front line to...launch renewed offensive operations."
Ukrainian forces carried out air strikes against Russian positions in the area and reportedly downed a Russian Mi-24 military helicopter.
The statements could not be independently verified.
He added that he and Radakin also discussed strengthening Ukrainian air defense, and the parties "agreed to develop cooperation and maintain communication."
In an interview with Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said his country was waiting for "ammunition from our partners" before launching any major offensives.
"Ukraine cannot send its brave defenders into a counteroffensive without sufficient weapons," he said.
In southern Ukraine, the Territorial Defense Force in the Kherson region reported on March 25 that there had been numerous attacks and shelling incidents in the area over the previous 24 hours.
Some of the shelling struck residential areas, the statement said, and two civilians were killed.
The Kherson city council on March 24 advised residents living close to the Dnieper River to leave for "safer areas."
"Due to constant attacks, it is impossible to ensure stable heat and water supplies there," the council wrote on Telegram. "The best option to protect yourself and your loved ones is to evacuate to safer areas."
Officials said they had arranged free bus transportation form Kherson to the Black Sea port city of Odesa and that 59 civilians had been evacuated on March 24.