KYIV, March 18 (Reuters) – Ukrainian troops outside the battered eastern city of Bakhmut are managing to hold off Russian units so ammunition, food, equipment and medicines can be delivered to defenders, the army said on Saturday.
And in the latest claim that Kiev inflicted heavy casualties, Kiev said its troops had killed 193 Russians and wounded 199 others on Friday.
Russia has made the capture of Bakhmut a priority in its strategy to take over Ukraine’s eastern Donbas industrial region. The city has been largely destroyed in months of fighting and Russia has launched repeated attacks.
“We are managing to bring the necessary ammunition, food, equipment and medicines to Bakhmut. We are also managing to get our wounded out of the city,” military spokesman Serhiy Cherevaty told ICTV television.
He said Ukrainian scouts and counter-artillery fire helped keep some roads into the city open. Pro-Kiev forces not only inflicted heavy casualties, but also shot down two Russian drones on Friday and destroyed five enemy ammunition depots, he added.
Reuters was unable to independently verify the claims. Last Sunday, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Russian troops had suffered more than 1,100 deaths in less than a week of fighting in and around Bakhmut.
Reporting by Nick Starkov; Written by David Ljunggren; Edited by Daniel Wallis
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Principles of Trust.