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Russian units seem to make some progress near Bakhmut in Donetsk, but suffer heavy casualties


Damage and debris are seen in Bakhmut, Ukraine, on Nov.
Damage and debris are seen in Bakhmut, Ukraine, on Nov. 29 (Yevhan Titov/AFP/Getty Images)

Videos on social media show Russian troops in the areas around Bakhmut in eastern Donetsk suffering heavy casualties, even as they capture some territory, especially south of the city.

Several videos from Ukrainian military drones show Russian troops in personal pits and trenches being targeted by explosives dropped from drones. Other videos on the ground show the bodies of Russian soldiers scattered in the countryside.

A video shot by the Ukrainian military and published on Telegram shows various weapon systems used in a coordinated attack on Russian positions, including 155 mm howitzers and mortars. From some of the videos, it appears that the Russian positions have little protection and are exposed in the open countryside.

Russian forces have been attacking the area around Bakhmut for months – and have recently sent in newly mobilized but less experienced units.

Several Russian units – including those affiliated with the Wagner group – appear to have made incremental progress, capturing a string of small villages south of the city. On Thursday, the Russian Defense Ministry said, “due to the offensive actions of the Russian army, the settlement of Kurdiumivka of the Donetsk People’s Republic has been completely liberated from units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. “

The Ministry of Defense had previously claimed three other settlements—but all were small villages.

Ukrainian troops fire missiles at Russian positions near Bakhmut, Ukraine, on November 24.
Ukrainian troops fire missiles at Russian positions near Bakhmut, Ukraine, on Nov. 24 (LIBKOS/AP)

What Ukraine is saying: The Ukrainians said fighting continued in the area, and during combat missions near Kurdiumivka, Ukrainian forces destroyed three ammunition depots, a mortar “and enemy manpower.”

Analysts say the Ukrainians are also clearly suffering casualties as they are targeted by Russian artillery and tanks. The Ukrainian military said fighting continued in several areas near Bakhmut but did not admit to losing any areas.

The Ukrainian National Guard said that over the past week, units have repelled enemy attacks in the Bakhmut and Avdiivka regions of the Donetsk region and “destroyed the enemy’s ammunition, equipment and personnel depots. enemy.”

Its spokesman said that during the attacks near the northeastern outskirts of Bakhmut, “enemy losses amounted to 79 servicemen, of whom 46 could not be recovered.

A CNN team in nearby Kramatorsk reported that they heard exchanges with heavy artillery for much of Thursday.

In its latest analysis, the Institute for the Study of War says that the Russian campaign around Bakhmut indicates that “Russian forces have fundamentally failed to learn from previous high-casualty campaigns.” focus on goals of limited strategic or operational significance.”

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