Russia likely planning to encircle Donetsk Oblast town of Bakhmut, Britain says

Ukrainian servicemen fire a mortar on a front line, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, in this handout image released November 6, 2022. Iryna Rybakova/Press Service of the 93rd Independent Kholodnyi Yar Mechanized Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

Dec 3 (Reuters) - Russia is likely planning to encircle the Donetsk Oblast town of Bakhmut with tactical advances to the north and south, Britain's defence ministry said on Saturday.

The capture of the town would have limited operational value but it can potentially allow Russia to threaten Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, the ministry added in a daily intelligence update.

"There is a realistic possibility that Bakhmut's capture has become primarily a symbolic, political objective for Russia," the ministry said in the update posted on Twitter.

Reporting by Akanksha Khushi in Bengaluru, Editing by William Maclean

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