Ukrainian military spokesperson Serhii Cherevatyi reported on Jan. 13 that the Russian forces shelled the Bakhmut area in the eastern Donetsk Oblast 212 times over the past 24 hours, while 31 firefights were also recorded.
According to preliminary data, 183 Russian troops were killed, and 137 were wounded in the battles for the area, Cherevatyi said.
“The Russians cannot break through the Ukrainian defenses and continue to lose personnel in their assaults,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Cherevatyi reported that “ongoing battles” were continuing in the nearby salt-mining town of Soledar on Jan. 13, denying an earlier claim by the Russian Ministry of Defense that the city was fully under Russian control.
Ukrainian officials’ comments come amid contradicting reports about which side holds Soledar, a town with a pre-war population of 10,000 located 10 kilometers north of Bakhmut, which Russia has tried to capture for more than five months.
Moscow militants in eastern Ukraine and Kremlin-run mercenary Wagner Group have made claims that Russia had captured Soledar since Jan. 10, but Ukraine continues to deny the claims.
Russia looks to capture the area as part of its larger goal of taking control of the entirety of Donetsk Oblast, which it has partly occupied since 2014.