Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

Ukrainian soldiers ride atop a tank on the front line in Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine on Wednesday, March 22. (Libkos/AP)

The ongoing depletion of Russian forces fighting for Bakhmut will allow Ukraine go on the counteroffensive in the eastern city “very soon,” a top Ukrainian general said in a Telegram post on Thursday.

“[Russians] are losing significant forces [in Bakhmut] and are running out of energy,” said Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi, commander of Ukraine’s land forces.
“Very soon, we will take advantage of this opportunity, as we did in the past near Kyin Kharkiv, Balakliya and Kupyansk,” he said, referring to instances where Russian troops have previously retreated in the face of Ukrainian counteroffensives.

Syrskyi said Russian forces — made up mostly of fighters from the Wagner private military company — continue to try and take Bakhmut “at any cost, despite losses in both manpower and equipment.” 

The commander, who has paid frequent visits to soldiers close to the front line in and around Bakhmut, also paid tribute to Ukrainian soldiers defending the city.

“Under continuous fire from enemy artillery and aircraft, our soldiers at the front demonstrate superhuman resilience, courage and bravery,” he said. “In particular, the units of the 93rd, 10th, 57th and 5th Brigades who are now defending our homeland in the east of the country.”

Some context: In an update Wednesday, Ukraine’s military said Russia’s offensive capacity is diminishing in and around Bakhmut as Moscow’s forces expend large numbers of troops trying to capture the city in fierce fighting.

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