KYIV, March 18 (Reuters) – Ukrainian forces outside the eastern town of Bakhmut manage to keep Russian units at bay so that ammunition, food, equipment and medicine can be delivered to the defenders, the army announced on Saturday.
And in the latest allegation of inflicting heavy casualties, kyiv said its troops killed 193 Russians and wounded 199 others during Friday’s fighting.
Russia has made the capture of Bakhmut a priority in its strategy to take control of the industrial region of Donbass in eastern Ukraine. The city was largely destroyed during months of fighting, with Russia launching repeated assaults.
“We are managing to deliver necessary ammunition, food, equipment and medicine to Bakhmut. We are also managing to get our wounded out of the city,” military spokesman Serhiy Cherevaty told ICTV TV channel.
He said Ukrainian scouts and counter-artillery fire were helping to keep some roads leading into the city open. In addition to inflicting heavy casualties, pro-kyiv forces on Friday shot down two Russian drones and destroyed five enemy ammunition dumps, he added.
Reuters was unable to independently verify the claims. Last Sunday, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Russian forces had claimed more than 1,100 lives in less than a week of fighting in and around Bakhmut.
Reporting by Nick Starkov; Written by David Ljunggren; Editing by Daniel Wallis
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