On day 386 of the conflict, Russian forces are still trying to capture Bakhmut in Donbas..
Although the Ukrainian armed forces are under increasing pressure and fire from three sides, they continue to resist and Kiev remains committed to fighting for the city.
Wagner group against the Russian army
Meanwhile, the internal conflict between the private military company Wagner Group and the Russian army continues.
The two sides have been fighting over resources and influence for months.
The battle for Bakhmut has exacerbated the situation.
After months of unsuccessful attempts by the Russian army to take the Ukrainian city, the group of mercenaries intervened. Due to massive human wave attacks on the Ukrainian positions, the mercenaries of the Wagner Group managed to seize territory and now the situation seems precarious for the Ukrainian forces.
The group’s tactical successes in and around Bakhmut have encouraged its leadership, particularly its leader and main backer, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who remains highly critical of the Russian military.
In fact, the group of mercenaries, which bore the brunt of most of the battle for Bakhmut, is suffering devastating losses that will likely limit it from conducting significant large-scale operations in the future without an infusion of new men.
“In the Bakhmut area alone, between 20,000 and 30,000 Wagner soldiers and Russian regular troops have been killed or wounded since May last year.representing an enormous loss of life for a total territorial advance of only 25 km,” said Ian Stubbs, UK representative to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
In fact, that casualty figure amounts to about 800 Russian soldiers killed or wounded per quarter mile.
“Russian military leaders have sacrificed military units, equipment and soldiers; they have squandered strategic resources for small tactical gains; and they have redoubled their misguided strategies and tactics in a desperate attempt to save face. Everyone can see the truth. The Russian army and its defense industry are failing in Ukraine,” Stubbs added.
Historically, that’s the Russian way of waging war: throwing men and resources at a target rather than finding more cost-effective ways to fight. The culture of an army will influence the way it fights, even after decades and the introduction of more modern weapon systems. And we can see in the Ukraine that the Russian way of waging war is costly to say the least.
The Russian army and the private military company Wagner Group continue to lose men and weapons systems on the ground.
In all, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry claimed that, By Thursday, Ukrainian troops had killed an estimated 162,560 Russian soldiers (and about double or triple the number wounded)..
Destroyed equipment includes: 305 fighters, attack aircraft, bombers and transport aircraft, 289 attack and transport helicopters, 3,504 tanks, 2,539 artillery pieces, 6,810 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 503 Multiple Launch Rocket Launch (MLRS) defense systems, 18 ships and cutters, 5,394 vehicles and fuel tanks , 265 anti-aircraft batteries, 2,145 tactical unmanned air systems, 257 special equipment platforms such as bridge vehicles and four mobile ballistic missile systems Iskander, and 907 cruise missiles shot down by Ukrainian air defenses.