Shelling heard in Bakhmut despite Putin's truce

STORY: Bakhmut is the current focus of the most intense fighting in Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The city was hit despite Moscow's declaration of a ceasefire for Eastern Orthodox Christmas.

Sparkling clear skies and a dusting of snow belied the devastation of a city abandoned by most of its pre-war population of 70,000.

"I think they're tricking us, it's pretty obvious to me," said Olha, who declined to give her surname.

"What else can I tell you? If someone makes a promise, they must fulfil it. Promises are made to be kept. I just don't understand, what do they need?"

Moscow said on Saturday (January 7) its forces in Ukraine would maintain a 36-hour ceasefire declared by President Vladimir Putin until midnight, despite Ukraine rejecting the offer.

It said its troops had only returned artillery fire when fired upon by Ukrainian forces; Reuters was not able to ascertain the origin of the shells heard in Bakhmut.