March 4. 2024. 8:29

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Bakhmut: Russia’s losses amount to more than 500 dead or wounded in single day, Ukraine says

More than 500 Russian troops were killed or wounded in a recent 24-hour period during the battle for the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, a Ukrainian military spokesman said on Saturday.

Pro-Moscow forces have been fighting for months to take Bakhmut, in the eastern Donbas region. Both sides admit to significant losses but the exact numbers are difficult to verify.

Serhiy Cherevaty, a military spokesperson for forces in the east, said the Russians had launched 16 attacks over a 24-hour period, with 23 clashes taking place in Bakhmut.

[ Ukraine war: Bakhmut fighting ‘escalates’ amid fresh Russian push ]

"Over the course of the fighting, 221 enemies were killed and 314 sustained injuries of various degrees," he told the national parliament’s television channel.

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It was not clear from Mr Cherevaty’s comments whether he was referring to casualties sustained on Friday or over the most recent 24-hour period.

Reuters was not able to immediately verify the claim.

[ Ukraine says its troops are doing ‘everything possible’ to defend Bakhmut ]

An aide to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Friday that Kyiv had decided to fight on in Bakhmut because the battle was grinding down Russia’s best units.

Moscow says capturing Bakhmut would punch a hole in Ukrainian defences and be a step towards seizing all of the Donbas industrial region, a major target.

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February last year, tens of thousands have been killed, millions displaced and many Ukrainian cities and towns pulverised. — Reuters