More than 20,000 Russian fighters have died in the Ukraine war, according to the US

May 1, 2023



(bbc) βΈ»

​The White House believes that more than 20,000 Russian combatants have died in the battle for the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, with an additional 80,000 wounded. Half of the dead are from the Wagner mercenary group, and the number of Russian casualties outweighs the city's pre-war population of 70,000. Moscow has been trying to take Bakhmut since last year in a grinding war of attrition, and the battle has taken on symbolic importance for both sides. Russia has been unable to seize any real strategic and significant territory, and the toll in Bakhmut accounts for losses since the start of December. The BBC is unable to independently verify the figures given and Moscow has not commented.

The capture of Bakhmut, Ukraine, would bring Russia closer to its goal of controlling the whole of Donetsk region, one of four regions in eastern and southern Ukraine annexed by Russia last September. The Wagner mercenary group, led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, has taken centre stage in the Russian assault on Bakhmut. He recently threatened to withdraw his troops if they are not provided with ammunition by the Russian defence ministry. He has also called upon the Russian media and military leadership to "stop lying to the Russian population" ahead of an expected Ukrainian Spring counteroffensive. A top Ukrainian general said on Monday that counterattacks have ousted Russian forces from some positions in Bakhmut, but the situation remains "difficult". New Russian units, including paratroopers and fighters from Wagner, are being "constantly thrown into battle" despite taking heavy losses.​

Russia Wagner Ukraine-- Bachmut

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