Russian forces are attacking the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut from five directions, with regular troops and fighters from the Wagner mercenary group closing in on the outskirts.
The Russians have reached one of the main highways into the city, and there is house-to-house fighting in some areas, according to the Ukrainian military.
Russian forces have been trying to claim Bakhmut for more than six months and have relied on masses of troops to try to overrun Ukrainian positions.
The tactic has allowed Russia to make incremental gains in recent weeks and to tighten a noose around the city slowly, but at the cost of hundreds of dead and wounded soldiers each day, the New York Times said.
The BBC said that Ukraine is also counting the cost, and there’s speculation it could withdraw to avoid further heavy losses.