Serhiy Cherevatyi, a Ukrainian military spokesperson, said that 221 pro-Moscow troops were killed and more than 300 wounded in Bakhmut. Russia’s Defense Ministry said that up to 210 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in the broader Donetsk part of the frontline, Reuters reported.
While Moscow did not specify Bakhmut casualties, the eastern Donetsk town, now nearly deserted, has been the site of one of the bloodiest and longest battles of the year-long war.
Both sides have admitted to suffering and inflicting significant losses in Bakhmut, while the exact number of casualties is difficult to independently verify.
British military intelligence said on Saturday that Russia’s Wagner mercenary group has taken control of most of the eastern part of Bakhmut — an advance that the group’s founder Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed on Wednesday.
“In the city center, the Bakhmutka River now marks the front line,” the British Defence Ministry said in its daily intelligence bulletin.
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. Kyiv says the battle is grinding down Russia’s best units.