A Russian military website reported that Wagner's forces are now deep in the center of the city of Pakhmot and are only hundreds of meters away from the administrative building, while the pro-Russian Donetsk forces broadcast images that it said documented the destruction of Ukrainian sites in the industrial zone of the city of Avdiivka, while Ukraine announced a significant increase in the number of defense forces in the hottest areas of Pakhmot, Avdiivka and others.

The Russian military site "Ryadrivka" pointed out that Wagner's forces are fighting fierce battles southwest of Pakhmot and gradually penetrating the defenses of Ukrainian forces, adding that Wagner's forces are advancing in the Krasnoye region southwest of the city, and that they are now in control of the road leading to that area.

On the other hand, the US Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said that the pace of Russian attacks in the Pakhmot region has decreased significantly, noting that Russian forces did not make any confirmed gains in and around Pakhmot during Saturday's confrontations.

Heavy snowfall in the Pakhmut region and fluctuating weather conditions slowed the Russians' advance in the city, according to a report by the institute.

For its part, the Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces continued to storm Pakhmot itself and launched unsuccessful offensive operations in the Bogdanovka and Ivanovka regions.

In eastern Ukraine, Donetsk's pro-Russian forces released images showing the moment Ukrainian positions were spotted, directly targeted with guided weapons and destroyed, according to Donetsk forces.

Also in Donetsk, the pro-Russian authorities confirmed that a civilian was wounded in the Ukrainian shelling of the city, noting that Ukrainian forces shelled on Saturday 5 residential neighborhoods with about 100 shells, causing material damage to a residential building.

Call for surrender

Meanwhile, Russian forces broadcast images of their drones dropping leaflets in the Zaporizhia province calling on Ukrainian forces to surrender.

RIA Novosti broadcast via Telegram a video it said documented the Russian military dropping leaflets at Ukrainian army posts in Zaporizhia calling on Ukrainian troops to surrender and save their lives, according to the agency.

The Zaporizhia and Kherson regions in southern Ukraine have been witnessing clashes and waves of Russian shelling with rockets and missiles for several days.

Increased defensive strength

Sergei Sopko, deputy commander of the territorial defense forces of Ukrainian forces, said the number of troops had risen to tens of thousands from 6,<> before the war.

All units of the regional defense forces have combat experience and participated in the counteroffensive in Kharkiv and Donetsk, Sopko added, explaining that the unit's soldiers are currently performing tasks in the hotter areas of Pakhmot, Avdiivka, Kremenaya and Oglidar.

He revealed that the training of these forces does not stop, proceeds in accordance with the training standards of NATO member states, and the training takes into account the experience of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Sopko explained that the trainers are combat officers trained abroad and now pass on the experience to others, and said, "We are creating a new military culture based on the ideas of brotherhood, unity and the will to win."

Lack of ammunition

While Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has vowed to increase ammunition supplies to his country's troops in Ukraine, warnings are being raised in Kiev of shortages of artillery and rocket ammunition ahead of a "spring counter-offensive."

Shoigu's remarks came during a visit to his country's troops in Ukraine after accusations from the Wagner militia of not providing enough ammunition for troops on the front line, and the visit comes days after the New York Times reported - referring to intelligence - that Russia would buy ammunition for millions of artillery shells and rockets from North Korea.

Military analysts say that while there is already a shortage of ammunition, the picture is more complicated, with Russian forces still using twice as much ammunition as the Ukrainian side.

Similar warnings in Kiev of artillery and rocket shortages come ahead of Ukraine's "spring counterattack" on Russia, but support appears to be coming.

Reuters on Saturday quoted three U.S. officials as saying that the United States would announce in the coming days a new $3.2 billion military aid package to Ukraine that includes tank munitions, precision air munitions, bridge equipment, air surveillance radars, anti-tank missiles and fuel trucks.