Ukraine still able to resupply troops in battered Bakhmut, says army

Ukrainian servicemen firing an M777 howitzer at Russian positions near Bakhmut, in eastern Ukraine, on March 17, 2023. PHOTO: AFP

KYIV – Ukrainian forces outside the battered eastern city of Bakhmut are managing to keep Russian units at bay so ammunition, food, equipment and medicine can be delivered to defenders, the army said on Saturday.

In its latest claim to have inflicted heavy casualties, Kyiv said Ukrainian troops killed 193 Russians and injured 199 others during the course of fighting on Friday.

Russia has made the capture of Bakhmut a priority in its strategy to take control of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas industrial region.

The city has been largely destroyed in months of fighting, with Russia launching repeated assaults.

“We are managing to deliver the necessary munitions, food, gear and medicine to Bakhmut. We are also managing to take our wounded out of the city,” military spokesman Serhiy Cherevaty told the ICTV television channel.

He said Ukrainian scouts and counter-artillery fire were helping to keep open some roads into the city.

As well as inflicting heavy casualties, pro-Kyiv forces shot down two Russian drones and destroyed five enemy ammunition depots on Friday, he added.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the claims.

Last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian forces suffered more than 1,100 fatalities in less than a week of battles in and around Bakhmut. REUTERS

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