Ukrainian forces are continuously facing relentless Russian attacks on Bakhmut, a city in the eastern Donetsk region. Both sides are reporting mounting enemy casualties as they battle across the ruined town, which now marks the front line.
The situation in the nearly deserted town was difficult, the commander of Ukrainian ground forces said, adding that his forces were repelling all Russian attempts to capture it.
“All enemy attempts to capture the town are repelled by artillery, tanks, and another firepower,” Colonel general Oleksandr Syrskyi was quoted as saying.
“We hang on to whatever we can. What we can’t hold, we continue holding despite everything. Whatever the cost…” says soldier Yuriy about the situation in Bakhmut.
Ukrainian soldiers with their Mk 19 grenade launcher
Photo: Serhii Nuzhnenko#StandWithUkraine pic.twitter.com/yzlFwFiADw
— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) March 13, 2023
Ukrainian forces control the west of Bakhmut, while Russia’s Wagner mercenary group controls most of the eastern part, with the Bakhmutka River that flows through the town marking the front line, British intelligence said in a weekend update.
Russian dreams of domination
“The closer we are to the centre of the city, the harder the fighting … The Ukrainians throw in endless reserves. But we are advancing and we will be advancing,” Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Sunday.
He also said Russian army members helped his troops with ammunition.
ISW: Wagner Group remains out of favor with Kremlin
The leadership of the Russian defense ministry is exploiting and exacerbating the frontline failures of Yevgeny Prigozhin’s mercenary Wagner Group…
Prigozhin had previously complained that Russia’s top brass was deliberately starving his men of ammunition, an allegation the defence ministry rejected.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said late on Sunday his forces had killed more than 1,100 Russian soldiers in the past few days as they fought for control of Bakhmut.
He added that Russian forces sustained 1,500 “sanitary losses”, soldiers wounded badly enough to keep them out of action.
⚡️Military spokesperson: 532 Russian casualties in Bakhmut area on March 12.
Spokesperson Serhiy Cherevatyi said that over March 12, 239 Russian soldiers were recorded killed, and another 293 injured in the sector of the front line around Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast.
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 12, 2023
Neither Ukraine nor Russia gave details of their own casualties.