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During the fierce battles near Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast in the past 24 hours, Russian forces lost 212 killed and 315 injured, according to Ukraine’s Armed Forces spokesperson.
Russian artillery attacked Ukrainian positions near Bakhmut 167 times, Serhiy Cherevatyi, a spokesperson for the Eastern Command of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, said in a televised statement.
On Feb. 7, U.K. Defense Ministry said that Russia was advancing “several hundred meters” each week despite heavy losses to meet its goal of capturing Donetsk Oblast. According to Ukraine’s intelligence, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his troops to seize the whole region by March.
Still, according to the U.K, Russia’s advance has been slow in Donetsk Oblast since its forces lack the munitions and maneuver units crucial for successful offensives.
Capturing Bakhmut would allow Russia to disrupt Ukraine’s supply lines in the area and open up the main road leading to the two vital Ukrainian cities of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.