- Written by Kathryn Armstrong
- BBC News
Ukraine’s commander-in-chief says the battle for Bakhmut, the Ukrainian city that Russia has spent months trying to capture, is “stabilizing”.
Earlier this month, Western officials estimated between 20,000 and 30,000 Russian soldiers have been killed or wounded at Bakhmut since last summer.
But despite this, Valery Zaluzhny said that the “tremendous efforts” of the Ukrainian forces are hampering Russia.
Moscow is eager for a victory after failing to make significant gains recently.
Despite this, Bakhmut is believed by military analysts to have little strategic value, with the city now of symbolic importance.
in Facebook, Said Lieutenant General Zaluzhnyi that while the situation on the front lines of Ukraine “is the most difficult in the Bakhmut direction … due to the tremendous efforts of the defense forces, we are managing to stabilize the situation.”
Lieutenant-General Zalogny deployed after speaking to the British Chief of the Defense Staff, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, about the situation in Ukraine.
His remarks are the latest positive signal from Ukrainian officials about the long battle for Bakhmut.
Oleksandr Sersky, the country’s ground forces commander, said on Thursday that Russian forces were “exhausted” near Bakhmut.
Sersky added that while Russia “has not given up hope of capturing Bakhmut at any cost despite losses in manpower and equipment… it is losing significant strength.”
“Very soon we will seize this opportunity, as we did near Kiev, Kharkiv, Balaklia and Kubyansk,” he said, referring to successful Ukrainian counterattacks last year.
Footage published by his office in an old warehouse showed him giving medals to the soldiers, whom he described as “heroes”.
Wednesday, UK said Ukrainian counterattack To the west of Bakhmut is likely to relieve pressure on the supply route to the city, and that Russia’s attack on the city may lose the “limited momentum” it had.
But the statement added, “Ukrainian defense remains at risk of being encircled from the north and south.”
Meanwhile, the Institute of War, He said on Thursday that while the Wagner Group is still outnumbered by Ukraine, Ukrainian forces “continue to deplete mercenaries, which will enable Ukrainian forces to pursue unspecified future offensive operations.”
Wagner, a private mercenary organization, is at the center of the Russian attack on Bakhmut. Its leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, staked his reputation on taking the city.
About 70,000 people lived in Bakhmut before the invasion, but only a few thousand are left.
Its capture would bring Russia a little closer to controlling the entire Donetsk region, one of four regions in eastern and southern Ukraine that Russia illegally annexed last September.
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