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Russian forces are losing over 50 killed in action near the strategic town of Bakhmut in eastern Donetsk Oblast daily, Serhii Cherevatyi, a spokesman of Ukraine's Operational Command “East,” said on national TV, as quoted by RBC Ukraine.
“In the Bakhmut sector, they (Russian troops) may be losing from 50 to 100 people daily. That's only killed in action, plus there are as many wounded,” Cherevatyi said.
The U.K. Defense Ministry said on Dec. 3 that Russia likely plans to encircle Bakhmut with “tactical advances to the north and the south,” investing a significant portion of its military effort in capturing the town.
The situation in the Bakhmut sector remains "tense but controlled," Cherevatyi said on Dec. 4, using the vague phrasing favored by Ukrainian military spokespeople.
He said that the Russian troops will not be able to encircle the Ukrainian forces in the besieged town of Bakhmut.
However, the Russian troops are trying to change tactics in that sector, according to Cherevatyi, particularly by having the Wagner Group mercenaries try to infiltrate Ukrainian positions in small groups.
Russian efforts near Bakhmut indicate that Russia has "fundamentally failed to learn from previous high casualty campaigns," the Institute for the Study of War said on Dec. 1.
Russia's continued offensives in the area continue to eat up Russia's available combat power, facilitating Ukrainian counteroffensives elsewhere, the D.C.-based think tank said.
The U.K. Defense Ministry said on Dec. 3 that Russian forces had “highly likely” made small advances south of Bakhmut in recent days after five months of trying to capture Bakhmut.
Seizing Bakhmut could allow Russian forces to launch attacks on urban areas such as Kramatorsk and Sloviansk in Donetsk Oblast.