The commander of the Ukrainian land forces, Oleksandr Syrskyi, on Tuesday visited troops fighting in the besieged city of Bakhmutin the province of Donetsk east of Ukrainehours after he announced counterattacks in the city that they would have forced the Russians to “abandon some positions”.
“We continue to carry out the defensive and deterrent operation of the enemy in the east,” Sysrkyi said today on his Telegram channel, in a brief note in which he also said that he met with the commanders in charge of the Bakhmut area.
“Our commanders and our soldiers are the heroes of our time, they upset the enemy’s plans every day,” the statement also said, praising “the dedication and professionalism” of the Ukrainian military in Bakhmut.
During his visit to the area, Syrskyi discussed with the military how to “inflict the greatest number of casualties on the enemy” and continue to “ensure effective defense” of the part of the city still under Ukrainian control.
On the other hand, the White House estimated on Monday that the Russian army has suffered 100,000 casualties in the last five months in the fighting against Ukraine in the Bakhmut region.
White House national security spokesmanJohn Kirbytold reporters that the figure, based on US intelligence estimates, included more than 20,000 deadhalf of them from the Wagner mercenary group, which includes convicts released from prison to join the fighting.
“Russia’s attempt at an offensive into the Donbas largely through Bakhmut has failed,” Kirby said. “Russia has not been able to seize any real significant and strategic territory.”
He said the Russians have made some gradual gains in Bakhmut, but that this has come at a “terrible, terrible cost” and that Ukraine’s defenses in the region remain strong.
“Russia has exhausted its military arsenals and armed forces, and since December alone, we estimate that Russia has suffered more than 100,000 casualties, including more than 20,000 killed in action, almost half of whom were Wagner soldiers,” he said.
“It’s really staggering, these numbers,” Kirby added, saying the total is three times the number of American casualties in the Guadalcanal campaign of World War II.
Kirby said another US arms package for Ukraine would be announced soon.
(With information from EFE)
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