Russia claims victory in a fierce contest in the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut while the Wagner Group suffers a catastrophic loss. The head of the organization, Yevgeny Prigozhin, reveals that up to 20,000 of his mercenaries have lost their lives in the region.
The battle for Bakhmut has left a tragic toll on the ranks of the Wagner Group, a private Russian military company known for its involvement in international conflicts. This clash in the Ukrainian city has been the scene of fierce fighting, and the results are shocking.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner Group, has made a shocking revelation admitting that up to 20,000 of his mercenaries have lost their lives in this battle.
In an interview with the influential Russian blogger Konstantin Dolgov, Yevgeny Prigozhin provided details about the magnitude of the loss suffered by the Wagner Group. According to Prigozhin, about 20% of recruits taken from Russian prisons have died in combat. In addition, he points out that 50% of the casualties correspond to regular Wagner employees, while the other half are recruits from prisons.
Recognition of the Ukrainian force
Prigozhin does not underestimate the strength of the Ukrainian troops. He acknowledges that they are one of the most formidable armies, with outstanding organization, a high level of training, and great intelligence.
These statements align with estimates published by the United States, which indicate that more than 20,000 Russian soldiers have perished in the battle for Bakhmut in the past five months, out of approximately 100,000 wounded or killed.
Despite Russian attempts to hide the true number of casualties during the invasion of Ukraine, the figures provided by Prigozhin appear to support the American estimates.
White House Homeland Security spokesman John Kirby said that despite the fierce fighting in Bakhmut, Russian forces have largely failed in their bid to seize control of the Donbas region.
Strategic Failures of Russia
Russia’s winter offensive in Donbas, which included Bakhmut as one of the lines of advance, has largely stalled and resulted in strategic failures.
Despite Russian claims that they have complete control over Bakhmut, the Ukrainian authorities insist that their troops still maintain some control in parts of the city and are moving ahead with their plans to encircle it.
Statements by Ukrainian authorities
Hanna Maliar, Ukraine’s deputy defense minister, said that although Ukrainian forces have withdrawn from Bakhmut’s built-up areas, they still have under their control a region renowned for its industrial and infrastructural importance on the city’s southeastern outskirts.
In addition, Maliar confirmed that thousands of Russian reinforcements had been deployed in the city, which, according to Ukrainian military intelligence spokesman Andriy Yusov, demonstrates the failure of Russia’s offensive actions.
With the tragic loss of 20,000 Wagner soldiers in the Battle of Bakhmut, the future of the Donbas region remains uncertain as Ukrainian forces continue to resist and plan their counteroffensive.