Ukraine and Russia Mutual Claims of Killing Hundreds of Enemy Forces Personnel. PHOTOS/Reuters
MOSCOW – Ukraine and Russia claiming each other on Saturday (11/3/2023), that hundreds soldier the enemy died during the previous 24 hours in the battle for Bakhmut. Kiev claimed to be fending off the incessant attacks and the creek that ran through the city now marked a new front line.
Serhiy Cherevatyi, spokesman for the Ukrainian military, said that 221 pro-Moscow soldiers were killed and more than 300 injured in Bakhmut. The Russian Ministry of Defense meanwhile said that up to 210 Ukrainian soldiers died in the wider Donetsk section of the front line.
Moscow did not elaborate on casualties in Bakhmut, the eastern city of Donetsk, which has been the scene of one of the bloodiest and longest fighting in the year-long war.
Both sides claim to have suffered and incurred significant losses in Bakhmut, while the exact number of casualties is difficult to independently verify.
British military intelligence said on Saturday that the Russian Wagner mercenary group had taken control of much of eastern Bakhmut – an advance that the group’s founder Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed on Wednesday.
“In the city centre, the Bakhmutka River now marks the front line,” the UK Ministry of Defense said in its daily intelligence bulletin.
Ukraine has insisted it is holding on to Bakhmut and providing a “decent rebuff” to Russian forces, with the commander tasked with defending Bakhmut saying its protection is key to a Ukrainian counterattack.
“It is important to get time to gather reserves and start a counteroffensive, which is not far off,” the military quoted General Oleksandr Syrskyi as saying.
Moscow says seizing Bakhmut will punch a hole in Ukraine’s defenses and be a step towards capturing all of the Donbas industrial areas, a key target. Kiev said the fighting crushed Russia’s best units.
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