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Ukraine's losses in the Battle of Bakhmut were lower than Russia's by a factor of 7.5, National Security and Defense Council chief Oleksiy Danilov told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
According to an article published on June 4, Danilov said that Russia had lost 22,816 people in Bakhmut since Sept. 1, 2022, around the time when convicted criminals recruited from prisons began augmenting Russia's front-line troops.
The Wagner Group mercenaries and their prison recruits played the leading role in Russia's 10-month-long assault on the city.
When asked why Ukraine defended Bakhmut so tenaciously, Danilov said that Ukraine's defenders must defend their cities and have no right to abandon them.
According to multiple accounts, Ukraine also took many losses in Bakhmut. Multiple soldiers fighting there described a brutal environment with a very high chance of death or injury in conversations with the Kyiv Independent.
Bakhmut was effectively occupied in late May.
Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said Ukrainian forces still hold the southwestern edges of the ruined city.