A man walks in the rubble near damaged buildings, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in Bakhmut
Russian troops have surrounded Bakhmut city in Ukraine and have caused significant damage.

It has been more than a year since Vladimir Putin launched a war against Ukraine. Thousands of soldiers have lost their lives on both sides, but that has not deterred Putin from continuing his war.

A recent report by UK Intelligence has now claimed that Putin's troops are likely using shovels for "hand-to-hand" combat because Russia is seeing an ammunition shortage. The UK's Ministry of Defence has claimed that last month, Russian troops were ordered to carry out an attack on a Ukrainian position "armed with only 'firearms and shovels."

The ministry even described the kind of shovel that is being used by the Russian troops. The shovel named MPL-50 was first released in 1869 and its design still remains the same.

"The lethality of the standard-issue MPL-50 entrenching tool is particularly mythologised in Russia," the ministry said. It went on to add that the use of shovels "as a weapon highlights the brutal and low-tech fighting which has come to characterise much of the war."

The ministry said that this might be evidence of the fact that there has been an increase in close combat between the Ukrainian and Russian troops.

"This is probably a result of the Russian command continuing to insist on offensive action largely consisting of dismounted infantry, with less support from artillery fire because Russia is short of munitions," it said.

The founder of Russia's Wagner mercenary force, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has made similar claims about the shortage of ammunition in Russia.

In a video posted on Telegram, Prigozhin said that his forces have not yet received the ammunition promised to them by Putin. He made the claims in the video posted over the weekend.

"For now, we are trying to figure out the reason: is it just ordinary bureaucracy or a betrayal," Reuters quoted him as saying.

Prigozhin's men have been at the forefront of the Russian assault in eastern Ukraine for months now, and this is not the first time that he has accused the Russian authorities of withholding ammunition supplies.

Last month, he accused Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu of "treason" for allegedly withholding ammunition supplies to his forces. He even claimed that Moscow may be trying to set them up as possible scapegoats if his country loses the war in Ukraine.

"If we retreat, then we will go down in history forever as people who have taken the main step towards losing the war," Prigozhin said. He made the claims in a video posted on the Wagner Orchestra Telegram channel.

Meanwhile, a report in The Mirror has claimed that Putin is planning to order "mass suicidal attacks" by the country's army in Ukraine. And that the order could be in effect for the next three months.

"Vladimir Putin's offensive is stuck in a rut created by shocking military weakness, failure, incompetence, death, and injury," the publication quoted a source as saying.

Russian troops have surrounded Bakhmut, Ukraine. They have been trying to disrupt lines of communication and prevent resupply.

Bakhmut has been a Russian target for months since capturing the city can help the Russians direct their forces towards other Ukrainian strongholds in the eastern Donetsk region.

The Russian forces have seen significant setbacks in the last few months, and Bakhmut can become an important gain for them. Thousands of Russian troops have lost their lives while trying to take control of Bakhmut.

According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a US-based think tank, Ukrainian forces are continuing to inflict high casualties against advancing Russian forces, but it is not clear if they have any intentions of a complete withdrawal from the city.