Fighting for the Ukrainian town of Bakhmut has intensified over Christmas after Russian armed forces deployed a fresh wave of troops and armoured vehicles on the front lines amid a barrage of new rocket attacks. 

The heaviest clashes are around the eastern city of Bakhmut in Donetsk, which Russia has been trying to storm for months, and further north in the cities of Svatove and Kreminna, where Ukraine is trying to break Russian defensive lines.

A harrowing video circulating on social media purports to show a ‘human wave’ of Russian soldiers, many of them believed to be mercenaries from the infamous Wagner group, being blown to pieces as they flee through the countryside near Bakhmut in scenes reminiscent of the First World War.Top Storiesby Daily Mail00:0301:30

Numerous Ukraine experts have pointed out how Wagner has been using the so-called human wave tactics for months in Bakhmut – sending poorly trained recruits who are often prisoners forward in near suicidal frontal assaults. 

The troops, captured by the camera of a Ukrainian drone, were seen charging across a field pock-marked with shell holes and strewn with the corpses of their own comrades.