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Russian forces see some success in Bakhmut

About 6,000 Wagner mercenaries are fighting in Bakhmut

Russia Ukraine War A Ukrainian soldier of the 28th brigade fires a grenade launcher on the frontline during a battle with Russian troops near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Friday, March 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Libkos)

Ukrainian military officials, on Wednesday, said that Russian troops have made progress on the frontlines of Bakhmut. But, maintained that they were still holding on in the battle that has lasted several months.

Ukraine, on Monday, received delivery of the much-waited Leopard 2 tanks from Germany. Besides this, the US has promised delivery of 31 American-made M1A2 Abrams tanks. While Portugal will be contributing three tanks, Sweden would send 10. 

The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog visited Ukraine's embattled Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant and said there had been a significant increase in the number of troops in the region of the plant and it could no longer be protected, Reuters reported. “Enemy forces had a degree of success in their actions aimed at storming the city of Bakhmut,” the General Staff of the Ukrainian armed forces told The Guardian. 

The mining city of Bakhmut, since the beginning of the war, and the surrounding towns in the eastern industrial region of Donetsk have been the focal point of assault.

The Ukrainian city of Melitopol, on Wednesday, lost power after shelling by Ukrainian forces. The city is currently being held by Russian forces. 

According to Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of Russia’s mercenary Wagner group, the battle for the eastern city of Bakhmut had “practically destroyed” the Ukrainian army but, equally destroyed Wagner troops too. 

Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, on Wednesday, said that about 6,000 Wagner mercenaries are fighting in Bakhmut, Donetsk region. “They're (Wagner mercenaries) conducting combat operations right now in Bakhmut primarily. It's probably about 6,000 or so actual mercenaries and maybe another 20 or 30,000 recruits that they get, many of whom come from prisons,” Milley told CNN.

He added that Russians are suffering enormous casualties in the region. “The Ukrainians are doing a very effective area defence that is proven to be very costly to the Russians. For about the last 20, 21 days, the Russians have not made any progress whatsoever in and around Bakhmut. So it's a slaughter-fest for the Russians. They're getting hammered in the vicinity of Bakhmut and the Ukrainians have fought very, very well,” he added. 

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