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Kiev: Up to 80% casualties in some Wagner units at Bakhmut

Russia suffers heavy casualties in storming the town of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast, the Kyiv Independent writes. Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar told Telegram that the Kremlin-backed private mercenary group Wager and Russian-backed militant groups active in eastern Ukraine are losing up to 80 percent of some attack units. “The evacuation of the dead and wounded is limited or not carried out at all,” he added.

Malyar also said that the situation in the frontline city is very tense and difficult for Ukrainian armed forces. “You can see for yourself what kind of war the Russian Federation is waging,” he said, adding that Ukrainian forces are holding back Russian advances in the region.

Serhii Cherevatyi, spokesman for the Eastern Group of Armed Forces of Ukraine, told national television yesterday that Russian troops have lost 119 dead and 163 wounded near Bakhmut in the past 24 hours. According to Malyar, Russia’s significant losses are partly due to low confidence in the Russian military leadership. “More and more Russian soldiers are realizing that their commanders are underestimating the situation on the battlefield, as evidenced by the intensive use of so-called ‘death squads’ – units with undertrained mobilized personnel that suffer heavy combat and medical casualties on a daily basis,” he wrote.

Metropolis/266 Ukraine, Di Feo: “Why Bakhmut is lost but will not be left to the Russians”

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Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, said yesterday that Bakhmut could be surrounded in Donetsk region in March or April. However, Prigozhin added that it was “difficult to predict” and that Russia’s success in encircling the city depended in part on the volume of Western arms being shipped to Ukraine.

Russian regular forces, along with the Kremlin-controlled Wagner mercenary group, have been attempting to take over Bakhmut for months, while Russia is trying to consolidate its grip on all of eastern Donetsk and currently controls about half of it.