Soldados ucranianos na cidade Bakhmut em março de 2023 © Libkos AP

The Ukrainian army continues to hold out in a tough battle in the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. On Sunday (12), Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that more than 1,100 Russian soldiers have been killed this week. The Ukrainian city has been under siege by the Russians since early March.

According to the Ukrainian president, another 1,500 Russian soldiers have been wounded and are out of action. Ukrainian forces in recent days have also destroyed dozens of Russian tanks, weapons, and ammunition depots.

Zelensky’s announcement was made in the video he publishes daily, to report on what is happening in Ukraine but also as a way to encourage the resistance. The city of Bakhmut continues to defend itself despite being under siege for weeks by Russian militiamen from the Wagner group.

Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry said that attacks in the Donetsk region would continue and claimed that Russia’s forces had reportedly killed 220 Ukrainian soldiers in the past 24 hours.

The numbers given by the two politicians are not possible to verify, and are part of the war of narratives between the two countries.

Ukraine Tries to Buy Time in Bakhmut

The Ukrainian army has sharpened its defense to try to “buy time” in the city that Moscow has been trying to seize since the middle of last year, at the cost of heavy human losses.

“We need to buy time to launch a counter-offensive, which is not far away,” said Oleksander Syrsky, commander of the Ukrainian ground forces, without giving further details about the potential attack.

“The real heroes now are the defenders who are holding the eastern front on their shoulders, and inflicting the worst possible losses, sparing neither themselves nor the enemy,” Syrsky stated.

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