The White Home estimates that Russia’s army has suffered 100,000 casualties within the final 5 months in preventing in opposition to Ukraine within the Bakhmut area.
White Home nationwide safety spokesperson John Kirby informed reporters the determine, primarily based on US intelligence estimates, included greater than 20,000 lifeless, half of them from the Wagner mercenary group, which incorporates convicts launched from jail to affix the preventing.
“Russia’s try at an offensive within the Donbas largely by Bakhmut has failed,” Kirby mentioned. “Russia has been unable to grab any actual strategic and important territory.”
He mentioned the Russians have made some incremental positive aspects in Bakhmut however that this has come at a “horrible, horrible price” and that Ukraine’s defences within the area stay robust.
“Russia has exhausted its army stockpiles and its armed forces and since December alone, we estimate that Russia has suffered greater than 100,000 casualties, together with over 20,000 killed in motion, almost half of whom had been Wagner troopers,” he mentioned.
“It is actually gorgeous, these numbers,” Kirby added, saying the entire is thrice the variety of American casualties within the Guadalcanal marketing campaign in World Conflict Two.
Kirby mentioned one other US weapons bundle for Ukraine can be introduced quickly.
In the meantime, Ukrainian counterattacks have ousted Russian forces from some positions within the besieged japanese metropolis of Bakhmut, however the scenario stays “tough”, a prime Ukrainian normal mentioned in feedback revealed on Monday.
In the course of the previous few months the battle for Bakhmut has grow to be the fulcrum of a battle that has seen little shift in entrance strains since late final yr, leaving either side searching for a breakthrough.
“The scenario is kind of tough,” mentioned Colonel Normal Oleksandr Syrskyi, the commander of floor forces, in an announcement on Telegram.
“On the identical time, in sure elements of the town, the enemy was counterattacked by our models and left some positions,” he mentioned whereas visiting front-line troops on Sunday.
New Russian models, together with paratroopers and fighters from the Wagner mercenary group, are being “continuously thrown into battle” regardless of taking heavy losses, he mentioned, including: “However the enemy is unable to take management of the town.”
The top of the Wagner group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, mentioned in a video posted on his Telegram channel on Monday that his fighters wanted some 300 tonnes of artillery shells a day for the assault on Bakhmut however had been receiving solely a 3rd of that quantity.
“300 tonnes a day is 10 cargo containers – not rather a lot in any respect,” mentioned Prigozhin, who has typically clashed with Russia’s defence institution over its conduct of the battle in Ukraine and what he says is inadequate help for his fighters.
Russian forces have steadily made incremental positive aspects in Bakhmut, however a Ukrainian army spokesman mentioned on Sunday it was nonetheless doable to produce the defenders with meals, ammunition and drugs.
Ukraine mentioned on Monday its forces had repelled greater than 36 enemy assaults on the a part of the japanese frontline that stretches from Bakhmut to Maryinka, simply west of Donetsk.
Kyiv is extensively anticipated quickly to launch a counteroffensive to retake swathes of territory within the east and south that was occupied by Russian forces following the invasion 15 months in the past.
Australian Related Press