The 300-day siege of Bakhmut, a Ukrainian salt-mining city, by Russian forces has reportedly resulted in over 100,000 casualties and an advancement of merely 60 feet per day, adding a grim narrative to Russia's military operations.
In an unexpected announcement nine months post the commencement of Russia's offensive against Bakhmut, Russian officials stated over the weekend that they have finally gained control of the 16-square-mile city.
Despite Russia's claim of capturing Bakhmut on Saturday, defense analysts suggest that the strategically insignificant eastern Ukrainian city has a "limited operational value," and that the prolonged battle, characterized by heavy Russian casualties, was "pointless."
Ukrainian Deputy Defense Chief Hanna Maliar remarked on Monday, "The enemy's offensive potential has been considerably weakened, with substantial losses inflicted. We have gained time for specific maneuvers, the details of which will be unveiled later."
Phillips O'Brien, a professor of strategic studies, noted, "It seemed as though Ukrainians simply capitalized on the frailty of the Russian frontlines." He further highlighted, "The Russian army around Bakhmut is severely depleted and has suffered such high losses that it is incapable of advancing further."
Contrary to reports that Ukrainian military has abandoned the city, Ukraine's deputy defense minister conceded Russia's control over parts of Bakhmut but refuted the notion of a Ukrainian retreat.
"The combat persists," declared Ganna Malyar over the weekend. "The struggle for the strategic heights on the flanks, north and south of the suburbs, is ongoing."
RadarOnline.com previously reported that the "bloodiest battle" of the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian conflict was predominantly waged between the Ukrainian military and Russian mercenaries commanded by Yevgeny Prigozhin, Putin's head of mercenaries.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense estimates that Prigozhin's mercenary troop endured over 100,000 casualties, with the death toll of Russian mercenaries exceeding 20,000, due to the near year-long clash.
Prigozhin disclosed that the surviving members of his Wagner Mercenary Group have established "defensive lines" on the western fringes of Bakhmut in anticipation of a "transfer of control" to Putin's military forces.
Referring to the staggering losses endured by Putin's military, the mercenary chief stated, "If the [Russian] ministry of defense is short of personnel, we have thousands of generals."