Ukraine Killed More Than 700 Freshly Mobilized Conscripts In Bakhmut

Dead bodies of Russian servicemen lie on the ground in the recently recaptured town of Lyman, Ukraine, Monday, Oct. 3, 2022. AP

Ukraine’s military says more than 700 Russian troops were killed during a single day of war.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that a total of 710 Russian soldiers had been “eliminated.” Ukraine said that a significant number of Russians were killed in the Donetsk region. The “greatest losses” were said to be near Avdiivka and Bakhmut, which Russian forces have been battling to capture for months.

Ukraine also claimed the destruction of 25 Russian tanks, 34 armored vehicles, nine artillery systems, four tactical drones, one anti-aircraft system and one airplane on Tuesday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described the fighting in Donetsk, which Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed to have annexed for Russia in September, as “especially difficult” on Tuesday. He said that the Russian military continued its push to capture the entirety of the region despite its troops suffering “extremely” heavy losses.

The body of a Russian soldier found in Moshchun is carried away on a stretcher. Claire Harbage/NPR

“The activity of the occupiers there remains at an extremely high level—dozens of attacks every day,” Zelensky said during his nightly televised address. “They suffer extremely large-scale losses, but their order has not changed—to reach the administrative border of the Donetsk region. We do not give up a single centimeter of our land there.”

Ukrainian resistance has meant that the Russian military has recently made “little to no progress” on the Donetsk front lines, according to a Tuesday report from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), which cites Russian media and Telegram posts.

The ISW report also claims that Russian casualties in parts of the region “are much more severe” than what the Russian military has been willing to disclose.

On Monday, a letter purportedly from Russia’s 155th Guards Naval Infantry Brigade claimed that around 300 members of the unit were lost last week—including those “killed, wounded, and missing”—during an “incomprehensible” attack on the Donetsk village of Pavlivka.

“The district command together with [the brigade commander] are hiding this…for fear of accountability,” the letter claimed. “They don’t care about anything other than showing off. They call people meat.”

Russian officials disputed the claim, prompting Zelensky to assert that the region is “littered” with the bodies of Russian soldiers and accuse Moscow of ordering officials to “lie” about the situation.

“The Donetsk region remains the epicenter of the greatest madness of the occupiers—they die by the hundreds every day,” Zelensky said on Monday. “The ground in front of the Ukrainian positions is littered with the bodies of the occupiers.”

Ukraine claims that at least 80,170 Russian troops have been killed since the invasion began on February 24. Russia has rarely publicly shared its own figures on troop deaths, while those released have been far lower than Ukrainian estimates.

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