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Battle for Bakhmut stabilising - Ukraine commander

Grim Reaper 6

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The battle for Bakhmut, the Ukrainian city which Russia has spent months trying to capture, is "stabilising", says Ukraine's commander in chief. Earlier this month, Western officials estimated between 20,000 and 30,000 Russian troops had been killed or injured in Bakhmut since last summer. But despite that, Valerii Zaluzhnyi said Ukrainian troops' "tremendous efforts" were holding back Russia. Moscow is eager for a victory after failing to make major recent gains.

Despite this, military analysts believe Bakhmut has little strategic value, with the city's importance now symbolic. Mr Syrsky added that while Russia "has not given up hope of taking Bakhmut at all costs despite losses in manpower and equipment... they are losing significant strength". Very soon we will take advantage of this opportunity, like we did near Kyiv, Kharkiv, Balakliya and Kupiansk," he said, referring to successful Ukrainian counter-offensives last year. And earlier this week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the frontline near Bakhmut, where he last visited in December.

Footage released by his office showed him in an old warehouse giving medals to soldiers, whom he called "heroes".


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