On Wednesday, the leader of Russia’s Wagner mercenary squad admitted that battle for the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut had caused considerable damage to both his own soldiers and the Ukrainian side.
Bakhmut, a tiny eastern city that has been the target of a Russian attack for months, has seen tremendous fighting and damage in what has been the war’s longest and bloodiest conflict.
“Today’s struggle for Bakhmut has nearly devastated the Ukrainian army, and sadly, it has also severely harmed the Wagner Private Military Company,” Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin said in an audio message.
Russian officials say their forces are still capturing ground in street-by-street fighting inside Bakhmut, but have so far failed to encircle it and force the Ukrainians to withdraw, as had seemed likely weeks ago.
British military intelligence said on Wednesday the Ukrainians had successfully pushed the Russians back from one of the city’s main supply routes.