Ukrainian data shows that more Russian soldiers are dying in Ukraine this month than at any point since the invasion’s first week.
According to estimates from Ukraine, 824 Russian servicemen died every day in February.
The UK Ministry of Defense emphasized the numbers. Although the numbers cannot be confirmed, the UK claims that the patterns are “likely correct.”
The uptick coincides with rumors of a Russian spring offensive in the country’s east.
Oleksiy Reznikov, Ukraine’s departing defense minister, stated last week that a new Russian operation was expected around February 24—the anniversary of the complete invasion.
The governors of Luhansk and Donetsk, however, asserted that the offensive had already started.
The area surrounding Bakhmut in the country’s east has seen some of the toughest fighting.
The leader of Russia’s Wagner mercenary squad said on Sunday that his organization has taken control of a settlement close to the destroyed city.
Wagner PMC assault detachments captured the town of Krasna Hora today, according to Yevgeny Prigozhin on Telegram.
In addition, Mr. Prigozhin downplayed the contribution of the Russian army, giving his group credit for the assault on Bakhmut: “Within a radius of 50 km, plus or minus, there are only Wagner PMC fighters,” he wrote.
The comment alludes to long-standing hostilities between Wagner and the Russian military.
When the town of Soledar was captured in January, Mr. Prigozhin proclaimed that only his forces had participated, a claim that was disputed by the Russian defense ministry.
Although the strategic value of Bakhmut has been contested, the protracted battle has elevated it to the status of a symbolic victory.
824 Russian casualties per day, as per Ukrainian data highlighted by the UK, is more than four times the rate reported in June and July, when about 172 Russian soldiers perished each day.
Since the large-scale invasion started, the Ukrainian military reports that 137,780 Russian soldiers had died.
The UK’s MoD noted that “a variety of issues, including lack of skilled people, coordination, and resources across the front” may be to blame for the recent spike.
The UK stated that Ukraine “also continues to suffer from a high attrition rate.”
Since their pullback from the significant southern city of Kherson in late November, Russian forces have not advanced much in Ukraine.
After a protracted battle, they last month took control of the town of Soledar to the north of Bakhmut. Russian forces may be able to advance further toward the larger cities of Kramatorsk and Slovyansk if Bakhmut is captured.
Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, has pleaded with Western nations to hasten the delivery of heavy weapons to that nation in order to assist Ukraine in fending off Russia’s anticipated attack.
Last week, the US agreed to supply long-range missiles to Ukraine, doubling its striking range.
However, President Zelensky has requested that the West provide fighter jets, telling lawmakers in the UK this week that he “thanks you all in advance for powerful English planes.”