Bakhmut in ruins as Russia battles on in eastern Ukraine

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By Euronews  with AP
Workers from Ukraine's DTEK company maintain power lines in Kyiv on Thursday, December 8, 2022.
Workers from Ukraine's DTEK company maintain power lines in Kyiv on Thursday, December 8, 2022.   -   Copyright  Andrew Kravchenko/Copyright 2022 The AP.

The Ukrainian city of Bahkmut has been reduced to ruins as Russian forces continue to pound the country's east.

After Ukrainian forces recaptured the southern city of Kherson nearly a month ago, the battle heated up around Bakhmut, demonstrating President Putin’s desire for visible gains following weeks of clear setbacks in Ukraine.

Taking Bakhmut would rupture Ukraine’s supply lines and open a route for Russian forces to press on toward Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, key Ukrainian strongholds in Donetsk. 

But some analysts have questioned Russia's strategic logic in the relentless pursuit to take Bakhmut and surrounding areas that have also come under intense shelling in the past weeks, and where Ukrainian officials reported that some residents were living in damp basements.

Meanwhile, maintenance workers in Kyiv have been called out to free dozens of residents trapped in elevators as power cuts continue in the capital.

"The only thing that's hard for me is walking up all the floors. We have a lot of high-rise buildings," says Konstantin Krul, who is now receiving 15 calls per shift to free people blocked in lifts.

In his nightly address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that "more than one and a half million people in the Odesa region were without electricity after a "nightly strike by Iranian drones".

On Friday, Kyiv said southern regions of the war-scarred country including Odesa were suffering the worst electricity outages days after the latest bout of systematic Russian assaults on the Ukrainian energy grid.