Russian forces tighten grip in eastern regions

Commanders on both sides of the war in Ukraine have expended soldiers and weapons in a standoff in the east. Month after month, those defending the city of Bakhmut have held their lines in the face of a Russian onslaught. But now, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has issued a warning about their fate.

Zelenskyy said on late Monday night that Russian troops are shattering anything the Ukrainians could use to shield themselves. He said they have been relentless. Still, his troops are refusing to give up.

One Ukrainian soldier said, "February 28, Bakhmut. The city is on fire. The enemy pushes on. But Ukraine will survive."

The Russians have not captured any major prizes in more than six months. They are hoping a victory in Bakhmut will open the way to seizing other urban centers in Donetsk. The region is one of four the Russians claim to have annexed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday told the leadership of the Federal Security Service in Moscow that he has seen more espionage and more sabotage against Russian targets. He has asked his security service to do more in those regions.

Putin said, "Countering the terrorist threat is crucial. The number of these offenses has risen over the last year. Obviously, this has to do with attempts by the Kyiv regime to use such tactics."

On Monday, Russian defense officials accused the Ukrainians of trying to attack their infrastructure. They point to a drone that crashed outside a town near Moscow. However, Ukrainian officials have not claimed any responsibility.