The Ukrainians claim to have stopped the Russian advance in Bakhmut

Bakhmut/ Photo: Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP / Profimedia

The battle for the city of Bakhmut, which Russia has been trying to capture for months, has "stabilized" and the Russian advance has been stopped, the chief of the general staff of the Ukrainian army claims. Valery Zaluzhny. He attributed the credit for this to the "tremendous efforts made by the Ukrainian forces", reports "Bi-bi-si".

According to the latest data from the Western services, it is estimated that between 20.000 and 30.000 Russian soldiers have been killed or injured in Bakhmut since the beginning of the fighting for its occupation last summer.

The high number of Russian casualties may be the main reason Ukraine has not withdrawn from the city, analysts say.

Lieutenant General Zaluzhny wrote on Facebook that although the situation on the front in Ukraine "is the most difficult in the direction of Bakhmut ... due to the enormous efforts of the defense forces, we are managing to stabilize the situation."

His comments are the latest positive signal from Ukrainian authorities in the long battle for Bakhmut.

The UK Ministry of Defense said today that the Russian attack on Bakhmut has "largely stalled", citing the "extreme attrition" of Russian forces as the reason, and added that Russia had likely shifted its operational focus to the south and north of the town of Bakhmut. .

Such moves may suggest an overall return to the defensive by Russia, after failing to achieve significant results in its attempts to launch a general offensive since January.

Earlier this week, Oleksandr Sirsky, commander of the Ukrainian ground forces, said Russian troops were "exhausted" near Bakhmut. The Ukrainian president also visited the front line near Bakhmut this week Volodymyr Zelenski. The American Institute for the Study of War reported Thursday that while Ukraine is outnumbered by the Wagner mercenary force, Ukrainian forces "continue to deplete the mercenaries, which will allow Ukrainian forces to continue unspecified future offensive operations."

Before the Russian invasion, about 70.000 people lived in Bakhmut, but today only a few thousand residents remain in the destroyed city.

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