Bakhmut Battle Rages On With Heavy Losses Reported In Ongoing Ukraine War
Bakhmut battle rages on with heavy losses reported in ongoing Ukraine war. Moscow has been in a prolonged war of attrition to capture Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reports that Russian forces have suffered over 1,100 deaths with many more injured, but Russia claims to have killed over 220 Ukrainian service members in the past 24 hours.
The city has little strategic value, but Russian commanders have made it a focal point. If captured, it would bring Russia slightly closer to controlling the Donetsk region, which was annexed by Russia last year. Ukrainian commanders are dedicating significant resources to defending the city to tie down Russia's forces and prevent further offensives.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in his nightly video address, stated that within less than a week of fighting starting from 6 March, more than 1,100 enemy soldiers had been killed in the Bakhmut sector alone, which he called "Russia's irreversible loss, right there, near Bakhmut."
Additionally, 1,500 Russian soldiers were seriously injured and unable to continue fighting. However, the Russian defense ministry claimed that they had killed "more than 220 Ukrainian servicemen." These numbers cannot be independently verified by the BBC.
Ukraine war: Heavy casualties reported in Bakhmut as battle for city rages
The Wagner Group, a paramilitary organization, is at the forefront of the Russian attack on Bakhmut. Its leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has placed his reputation and the reputation of his private army on seizing the city.
He acknowledged that the fighting was intense, particularly closer to the city center, stating that "the enemy is fighting for every meter." He also expressed his intention to recruit new members after capturing the city, saying that "we will begin to reboot" and "will start recruiting new people from the regions."
The commander of Ukraine's ground forces, Col Gen Oleksandr Syrskyi, reported that the Wagner Group was attacking his troops from various directions in an attempt to break through defenses and reach the central districts of the town. The battle for Bakhmut has become a crucial focal point for Russian commanders, who have struggled to deliver any positive newsto the Kremlin.
Map of Ukraine showing Russian and Ukraine held territories
According to the US think tank Institute for the Study of War, Moscow's offensive has begun to stall. It stated that "Wagner Group fighters are likely becoming increasingly pinned in urban areas... and are therefore finding it difficult to make significant advances." The battle for Bakhmut continues, with neither side emerging as a clear victor.
Western officials estimate between 20,000 and 30,000 Russian troops have been killed or injured in and around Bakhmut, a once-thriving city in eastern Ukraine known for its salt and gypsum mines and large winery.
With the city's political significance heightened by both Russia and Ukraine, those who remain in Bakhmut risk a hazardous existence, as evidenced by the four people injured on Monday. Ukraine's President Zelensky has made the city a symbol of resistance, calling it "the fortress of our morale" during a visit to Washington in December.
Meanwhile, a draft law introduced in the Russian parliament seeks to expand the compulsory military service age to 21-30 years old. Russia's previous attempt to draft new recruits into the Ukraine war met with resistance, and the Kremlin has dismissed reports of men fleeing the call-up.
Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko reported seven residents injured in other parts of the Donetsk region on Monday, while further east in Luhansk, regional governor Serhiy Haidai said Russia had "significantly intensified shelling" on the front line, bringing more troops and equipment to the area. According to the regional administration, Ukrainian troops also suffered 47 attacks in Zaporizhzhia.
The ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, particularly in the city of Bakhmut, continues to be a major point of contention between Russia and Ukraine. Both sides have given the city political significance, with Ukraine using it as a symbol of resistance and Russia seeing it as a way to gain control of the Donetsk region.
The recent draft law introduced in the Russian parliament to expand the conscription age bracket suggests that the conflict is likely to continue, with more men becoming eligible to fight. The situation remains tense and unpredictable, with reports of increased shelling and attacks on both sides.