According to information from Kiev, the Russian military suffered enormous losses in the battle for the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. "Russian losses amount to up to 500 dead and wounded every day," Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Resnikov told Bild am Sonntag. The Russian soldiers are merely "cannon fodder" in the "meat grinder tactics" used by Moscow. The information on the loss figures cannot be checked independently.
However, the city has been heavily contested for months. The mercenary unit Wagner is mainly active in the room. Their boss, the oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is considered close to the Kremlin, has recruited men for the troops in Russian prisons in the past. It is precisely among these prisoners that the casualties are said to be extremely high. The human rights organization "Russia behind bars" recently said that of the 50,000 mercenaries recruited in prisons, only 10,000 are still at the front. The rest were killed, wounded, captured or deserted.
According to Reznikov, Bakhmut "is a symbolic place for the Russians," which is why efforts to capture the city are so significant. Even the capture of these means nothing for the further course of the fighting in Donbass, he told the newspaper.
In the past, however, the leadership in Kiev also gave Bakhmut a high symbolic importance. President Volodymyr Zelenskyj spoke, among other things, of the "Fortress Bakhmut", which will not be abandoned. Today the tones are more moderate. The city's case is now being considered as a possibility. However, Ukraine wants to hold on to the positions for as long as possible, also because the Russian troops lose a lot of time and energy trying to attack them.