Ukraine lost 210 troops in Donetsk over past 24 hours: MoD
The Russian armed forces are inflicting major losses on their Ukrainian counterparts in the Donetsk direction, with heavy casualties recorded on Kiev's side.
Ukraine has lost around 210 personnel and a US-made M109 Paladin self-propelled howitzer in the Donetsk direction over the last 24 hours, the Russian Defense Ministry reported Sunday.
"In the Donetsk direction, during the continuation of the active operations of the southern group of [Russian] troops, as well as air strikes and artillery fire, over 210 Ukrainian servicemen, one infantry fighting vehicle, four armored combat vehicles, seven vehicles, the M777 howitzer, the US-made M109 Paladin self-propelled howitzer, the Gvozdika self-propelled howitzer, the Tyulpan self-propelled mortar, the Smerch self-propelled multiple rocket launcher, and the D-30 howitzer were destroyed over the past 24 hours," the ministry said in a statement.
Lancet kamikaze drone strike disables Ukrainian 2S1 self-propelled gun artillery.— LogKa (@LogKa11) March 4, 2023
2 soldiers were eliminated pic.twitter.com/ujzY6S17DM
Furthermore, the Russian armed forces destroyed the US-made AN/TPQ-36 counter-battery radar system at Mykolaivka in the Donetsk People's Republic and the AN/TPQ-37 counter-battery radar system near Varvarivka in the Zaparozhye District, according to the statement.
The Russian forces also killed roughly 220 Ukrainian soldiers in the Kupyansk and Lyman directions, Moscow said.
🇷🇺⚔️🇺🇦☠️Retreat of the AFU from Bakhmut caught with artillery fire,since roads are under artillery control from "Wagner"— AZ 🛰🌏🌍🌎 (@AZgeopolitics) March 5, 2023
15 AFU soldiers demilitarised pic.twitter.com/dkOJXnTTsZ
Reportedly, since the outbreak of the Ukraine war last year, the Russian armed forces destroyed 394 Ukrainian military aircraft, 216 helicopters, 3,336 UAVs, 409 anti-aircraft missile systems, 8,162 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 1,050 multiple launch rocket systems, 4,282 units of field artillery and mortars, as well as 8,746 special military vehicles.
The latest losses come amid major Russian strides in Donetsk's north, namely in the city of Bakhmut, also known as Artyomovsk, a city that has been at the center of fierce battles for months now.
🇷🇺⚔️🇺🇦 Bakhmut direction: AFU soldiers in a panic are trying to take out the wounded after a fight— AZ 🛰🌏🌍🌎 (@AZgeopolitics) March 5, 2023
AFU withdrawal through muddy field pic.twitter.com/6qNQwLXkcg
The city, according to the head of the Russian Wagner private military company, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is almost completely surrounded with only one route still open for Kiev's forces.
The UK Ministry of Defense stated earlier on Saturday that routes to besieged Bakhmut made the possibility of resupplying the Ukrainian Armed Forces "increasingly limited".
The Russian forces have also made additional gains and have advanced "into the northern suburbs of the city, which is now a Ukrainian-held salient, vulnerable to Russian attacks on three sides."
Reuters news agency reported that there was heavy shelling from the Russian side aimed at blocking the Ukrainians from leaving and entering the city, thus preventing them from both withdrawing and receiving backup.
Reportedly, ahead of the Russian shelling, Ukrainian soldiers were working on preparing the damaged roads, with troops heading toward the frontline to bolster Kiev's positions as other troops were digging new trenches for defensive positions in the West.
The Russian RIA Novosti news agency released footage showing Wagner fighters passing by a damaged facility, and one fighter was heard saying Kiev's forces were destroying infrastructures in settlements near the city in order to prevent Russian encirclement.
An adviser to the head of the Donetsk People's Republic, Igor Kimakovsky, said in late February that soldiers for the Ukrainian armed forces blew up a dam near Bakhmut, also known as Artyomovsk, in a bid to slow down the Russian offensive and force civilians to leave the besieged city.
"The dam was blown up, and the resulting torrent of water flowed toward Artyomovsk. They are likely trying to halt our offensive. Maybe they want to try and cut off our assault units from the rear to slow down munition supply," Kimakovsky told the Russian news agency Sputnik.
Moreover, a US mercenary fighting on the frontlines against the Russian armed forces said, late in February, the Bakhmut frontlines were highly gruesome, comparing the front to a meat grinder, as Russia pushes against Ukraine's forces in the city for which battles have been taking place for months.
Former US Marine Troy Offenbecker underlined to ABC News that the life expectancy of Ukrainian soldiers on the city's frontlines was only about four hours, with a major offensive still expected from Russia.
"It's been pretty bad on the ground," he told the US network. "A lot of casualties. The life expectancy is around four hours on the frontline."
Offenbecker underlined that he was not sure how long Kiev's forces would be able to hold the city, adding that the expected offensive had already kicked off and that attacks from Russians have been "nonstop" in Bakhmut, with artillery raining down upon it "all day and night".