Ukraine news – live: Putin’s forces begin ‘crazy, chaotic shelling’ in Bakhmut

Vladimir Putin’s forces are bombarding the key city of Bakhmut in Ukraine with heavy artillery fire as they ramp up a major new offensive to mark one year of the war, officials said.

“The city, the city’s suburbs, the entire perimeter, and essentially the entire Bakhmut direction and Kostyantynivka are under crazy, chaotic shelling,” Volodymyr Nazarenko, deputy commander of Ukraine’s Svoboda battalion, said last night.

This comes as Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg warned that Moscow’s long-anticipated new offensive in Ukraine has already begun, days before the one year mark of the war.

“We see no sign whatsoever that [Russian] president Putin is preparing for peace (…) What we see is president Putin and Russia still wanting to control Ukraine,” Nato’s secretary-general told reporters yesterday.

The White House’s John Kirby slammed Mr Putin for making poor decisions, and says this is exacerbating Russia’s struggles on the battlefield.

“The Russian military is still struggling. They have not surmounted these — these problems. And it’s borne out by the fact that he continues to change generals the way I change socks,” he said.

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