WASHINGTON: The White House on Monday estimated that the Russian military had suffered 100,000 casualties in the past five months fighting in the Bakhmut region and other regions of Ukraine.
White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters that the figure, based on US intelligence estimates, includes more than 20,000 dead, half of them from the Wagner mercenary group of convicts released from prison to join the fight.
“Russia’s attempt to launch a winter offensive in the Donbass via Bakhmut has largely failed,” Kirby said.
“Last December, Russia launched a massive offensive across multiple lines of advance, including towards Vohlidar, Avdiivka, Bakhmut, and Krymina. Most of these efforts stalled and failed. Russia was unable to capture any area of ​​strategic importance.”
He said the Russians had made some incremental gains in Bakhmut but that it had come at a “terrible, terrible cost” and that Ukraine’s defenses in the area were still strong.
“Russia has exhausted its military stocks and its armed forces,” Kirby said.
He explained that most of the soldiers of Wagner’s mercenary group were “Russian convicts who were thrown into the fighting in Bakhmut without adequate fighting or training, combat leadership, or any sense of organizational command and control”.
“It’s really amazing, those numbers,” Kirby added, saying the total number was three times the number of American casualties in the Guadalcanal Campaign of World War II.
Kirby said another US arms deal to Ukraine would be announced soon.
He watches More than 20,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in the ongoing conflict with Ukraine


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