Ukraine’s military estimated on Thursday that 800 Russian soldiers were killed in the past day, mostly in fighting in the eastern Donetsk region, while Western allies pledged supplies of armored battle vehicles but not the tanks Ukraine wants.
Giving its regular morning roundup of the fighting, Ukraine’s military said Russian forces were focused on an offensive in the Bakhmut sector and its attacks in the Avdiivka and Kupiansk sectors were unsuccessful.
It said more than 800 Russian soldiers, one aircraft, a helicopter and three tanks were destroyed over the past day.
It also reported an unspecified number of civilian casualties as a result of Russian air, missile and rocket attacks on the largely ruined, Ukrainian-held city of Bakhmut and two other cities in the Donetsk region – Kostiantynivka and Kurakhove.
Russia denies targeting civilians in what it calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
A senior US administration official on Wednesday gave a sobering assessment of fighting in the Donetsk region, especially around Bakhmut.
“The fighting is still quite hot … what we’re seeing in Bakhmut we should expect to see elsewhere along the front that there will be continued fighting in the coming months,” the official said.
In his evening video address, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Ukrainian troops outside Bakhmut were inflicting numerous losses on their adversaries and Russia was building up its forces in the region.
Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar, citing his ministry’s main intelligence directorate, wrote on the Telegram app that significant losses for Russia meant it would likely have to announce another partial mobilization in the first quarter of the year.
According to Yegeny Balitsky, the governor of the Russian held Zaporizhzhia region, Ukrainian artillery killed five people and wounded 15 including four emergency workers, Russia’s TASS news agency reported.