Wagner says 20000 of its troops died taking Bakhmut
Desk Report || risingbd.com
The head of the Russian private army Wagner says his force lost more than 20,000 men in the drawn-out battle for Bakhmut, with about half of those who died in the eastern Ukrainian city being Russian convicts recruited to fight in the 15-month-old war, reports AP.
The figure stood in stark contrast to the widely disputed claims from Moscow that just over 6,000 of its troops were killed throughout the war as of January. By comparison, official Soviet troop losses in the 1979-89 Afghanistan war were 15,000.
Ukraine hasn’t said how many of its soldiers have died since Russia’s full-scale invasion began in February 2022.
Analysts believe the nine-month fight for Bakhmut alone has killed tens of thousands of soldiers, among them Russian convicts who reportedly received little training before being sent to the front.
Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin also said Russia’s invasion goal of “demilitarizing” Ukraine has backfired because Kyiv’s military has become stronger with the supply of weapons and training by its Western allies.