The United States says 20,000 Russian troops were killed and 80,000 others injured in the 5 months of war in Bakhmut, Ukraine. Photo/REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
KIEV – The United States (US) mentions as many as 100,000 troops Russia has been the death toll and wounded in five months of fighting in Ukraine east, especially in Bakhmut.
“We estimate that Russia has suffered more than 100,000 casualties, including more than 20,000 killed in action,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters.
“Russian offensive attempts in Donbass, mostly through Bakhmut, have failed…Russia has been unable to capture highly strategic areas,” Kirby continued, as quoted by AFP, Tuesday (2/5/2023).
Kirby, citing recently declassified US intelligence, said that about half of those killed were soldiers recruited by the private military company Wagner Group, most of whose members come from Russia’s prison population.
According to US data, casualty figures from the fighting, with the most intense fighting taking place in Bakhmut, where Ukrainian troops have been driven from all but a small part of the town, account for the losses since early December.
“This trial effort, especially in Bakhmut, has come at a very, very high cost. Russia has exhausted its military and armed forces,” Kirby said.
Kirby said he did not provide an estimate of Ukrainian casualties. “Because they are the victims here. Russia is the aggressor,” he said.
He said the White House would not put information into the public domain that would make things difficult for the close Western ally, whose troops are armed and trained by a US-led coalition of nations.