Ukrainian forces preventing Russian advances in Bakhmut

Ukrainian forces appear to be putting up stiff resistance in the country's eastern stronghold of Bakhmut against Russian attacks. Russian troops are continuing their fierce attacks in a bid to capture the city in the Donetsk region.

Ukraine's defense ministry said on Sunday that enemy shelling on Bakhmut has been nonstop, and that 15 settlements around the city were also attacked.

The Ukrainians appear to have set up defense lines in the western side of the city while the Russians have taken control of the eastern side.

The Institute for the Study of War in the United States said on Saturday that the Russian side is "finding it difficult to make significant advances" within Bakhmut.

Ukraine's defense ministry says Russian forces are also hitting Lyman and Avdiivka in Donetsk, which are considered strategic points, but Ukrainian troops have held off many of the attacks.

The head of the Russian private military firm Wagner Group said on Friday that it had opened recruitment centers in 42 cities in Russia. The group apparently seeks to replenish fighters after suffering losses in fighting for Bakhmut.

Russian media reports suggest frustration against mobilization is smoldering in Russia.

Independent media outlets reported on Sunday that wives and mothers of soldiers mobilized from the Moscow region are calling on Russian President Vladimir Putin to get their loved ones back from Ukraine. They say their family members were sent to the frontlines without even receiving sufficient training.