On May 1st, the United States announced that Russia’s military has incurred approximately 100,000 casualties since December, indicating that Moscow’s winter offensive in Ukraine has failed. The US government described the number as “stunning” and estimated that over 20,000 Russian troops have died, with another 80,000 suffering injuries in eastern Ukraine, specifically in Bakhmut.
John Kirby, who is the White House national security spokesperson, said that the latest figure is based on US intelligence estimates and the total also includes over 20,000 killed in action.
Kirby told reporters: “We estimate that Russia has suffered more than 100,000 casualties, including over 20,000 killed in action.”
“Russia’s attempt at an offensive in the Donbass, largely through Bakhmut, has failed… Russia has been unable to seize any really strategically significant territory,” Kirby added.
He further said, “Last December, Russia initiated a broad offensive across multiple lines of advance, including toward Vuhledar, Avdiivka, Bakhmut, and Kreminna. Most of these efforts stalled and failed.”
Kirby said that Russia’s incremental gains in Bakhmut have come at a “terrible, terrible cost”. He said that Russia has exhausted its military stockpiles and its armed forces.
The official said, “The bottom line is that Russia’s attempted offensive has backfired. After months of fighting and extraordinary losses, Russia continues to be focused on a single Ukrainian city with limited strategic value.”
Kirby also claimed that Ukraine’s defences in the region remain strong, but didn’t reveal estimates of Ukrainian casualties because “they are the victims here. Russia is the aggressor”.
He said that the he White House will not put “information in the public domain that makes it any harder” for the close Western ally, whose army is being armed and trained by a US-led coalition of countries.
A top Ukrainian general claimed on Monday that they have ousted Russian forces from some positions in Bakhmut amid fierce battles. Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi, the Ukrainian commander of ground forces, said in a statement on the Telegram messaging app: “The situation (in Bakhmut) is quite difficult.”
“At the same time, in certain parts of the city, the enemy was counterattacked by our units and left some positions” in recent days, he said.
The West is also claiming that Russia is running out of weapons as Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is the head of Wagner, said on Telegram on Monday that his fighters needed some 300 tonnes of artillery shells a day for the assault on Bakhmut, but were receiving only a third of that amount.
“Three hundred tonnes a day is 10 cargo containers – not a lot at all,” said Prigozhin.