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The battle for Bakhmut has turned into a ‘slaughter-fest’ for Russia, says top US general

Ukrainian soldiers fire a self-propelled howitzer towards Russian positions near Bakhmut, the site of the heaviest battles, Donetsk region, Ukraine, on March 7, 2023..Ukrainian soldiers fire a self-propelled howitzer towards Russian positions near Bakhmut, the site of the heaviest battles, Donetsk region, Ukraine, on March 7, 2023.

AP Photo/Libkos

  • Russia’s efforts to take Bakhmut have become a “slaughter-fest” for its troops, Gen. Mark Milley said.
  • He said Russia has not made progress for around 20 days, and they are being “hammered” by Ukraine.
  • Russia likely wants a symbolic victory in Bakhmut, but its progress there has been slowing.

The battle for the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut has turned into a “slaughter-fest” for Russian forces, according to US Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Milley was asked at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Wednesday about Russia’s failure to capture Bakhmut, despite months of fighting to take it.

Bakhmut is considered the bloodiest battle of the invasion so far.

Milley said in response that he believes “Russians are struggling in a big way” there with command issues, logistics, basic tactics, and troop training.

“They are getting slaughtered, the Russian troops are” he said.

Milley added for the last 20 or 21 days “Russians have not made any progress whatsoever in or around Bakhmut.” 

“The Ukrainians are doing a very effective area defense that is proving to be very costly to the Russians,” he said.

Russia first started shelling the city in May last year, with fighting ramping up in August. Russia has slowly inched forward, but has failed to capture the city.

Milley went further, describing Bakhmut as a “slaughter-fest for the Russians. They are getting hammered in the vicinity of Bakhmut and the Ukrainians are fighting very, very well.”

Experts say that Russia considers the city a chance for a symbolic victory, after it failed to make significant territorial gains in recent months.

 

But Bakhmut doesn’t hold much strategic importance, experts told Insider.

Western officials estimate that between 20,000 and 30,000 Russian troops have been killed or injured in the city, while NATO predicted that Russia was losing five soldiers for every Ukrainian killed.

Ukraine says that it is using the fighting there to grind down Russia’s forces.

Milley said on Wednesday that Russia is “suffering enormous amounts of casualties in the Bakhmut area.”

The UK Ministry of Defence said last week that Russia’s progress in Bakhmut appeared to have slowed.

In recent weeks Russian forces have also turned their focus to the nearby town of Avdiivka, the UK ministry said.

But they are losing considerable resources there, too.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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