Fighting over Ukraine's Bakhmut believed to be escalating

Ukrainian and Russian forces are believed to be intensifying their battle to control the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.

Russia is apparently stepping up its offensive on the strategic city to seize control of the Donetsk region.

The General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces said on Sunday that "the adversary continues its attempts to encircle the town of Bakhmut," but "Ukrainian defenders repelled numerous attacks."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video released on Saturday that he had contacted the commanders earlier in the day, adding that the front is the first priority.

He also mentioned the names of the brigades defending Bakhmut.

The US-based Institute for the Study of War said on Saturday that "Russian advances in Bakhmut have been slow and gradual and do not suggest that Russian forces will be able to encircle Bakhmut soon, much less that they will be able to take the city by frontal assaults."