2 Of Russia’s Top Leaders Have Been Killed

The Russian Defense Ministry said two of its commanders were killed in attacks in Bakhmut as Ukraine’s military continues its efforts to break the back of Russian defenses around the city, Reuters reported.

During a daily briefing on Sunday, the Defense Ministry said Deputy Commander Yevgeny Brovko and Vyacheslav Makarov, the commander of the 4th Motorized Rifle Brigade were both killed while trying to repel Ukrainian advances around the embattled city which has seen the bloodiest fighting of the war.

Commander Makarov was killed while reportedly leading Russian troops from the front line while Deputy Commander Brovko “died heroically” after sustaining “multiple shrapnel wounds.”

According to Reuters, it is uncommon for the Defense Ministry to announce the deaths of military commanders during a daily briefing.

The ministry also said that Ukraine forces had not broken through Russia’s defenses despite waging attacks both in the north and south of the city in the previous 24 hours, claiming that the Ukrainian attacks were “repelled.”

Meanwhile, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the chief of the Wagner mercenaries, who have been doing most of the fighting around Bakhmut, said in a Telegram post that his forces advanced about 400 feet in the previous 24 hours. Prigozhin said his forces have seized control of 28 buildings in Bakhmut’s western districts where Ukrainian troops are operating.

Reuters could not independently verify Prigozhin’s claims.

On Sunday, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar confirmed on Telegram that Ukraine’s forces are continuing to “move forward” in the suburbs surrounding Bakhmut. She said units have captured over ten Russian positions in the north and south of the city and cleared a large section of forest near Ivanivske, capturing Russian soldiers from different units.

On Friday, the Kremlin acknowledged that its forces north of Bakhmut had fallen back amid a surge of attacks by Ukraine.