Russia has sustained “20,000 to 30,000 casualties’’ – killed and wounded – in trying to capture the city, western officials estimated at a briefing on Tuesday. While no firm figure was offered for Ukrainian losses, the official said it was “significantly less”. Ukraine’s defence of Bakhmut is forcing Russia to engage in a costly battle for a city that “isn’t intrinsically important operationally or strategically”, according to the US-based Institute for the Study of War.
The Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said it may fall into Russian hands in the coming days. “What we see is that Russia is throwing more troops, more forces and what Russia lacks in quality they try to make up in quantity. They have suffered big losses, but at the same time, we cannot rule out that Bakhmut may eventually fall in the coming days”. The head of the western military alliance insisted “it is also important to highlight that this does not necessarily reflect any turning point of the war.”
Ukraine’s governor of Donetsk, Pavlo Kyrylenko, has said that for the first time since 24 February there were no dead or wounded civilians reported in the region.