As battle for Bakhmut rages, heavy losses are reported

As the battle for Bakhmut goes on, both Ukraine and Russia say they have caused a lot of damage. A long slow war was being fought by Moscow to take over the eastern Ukrainian city. This lasted for months.

The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky mentioned that there were more than 1,100 Russian soldiers that had died in the last few days along with many more that had been injured. In the last 24 hours there were more than 220 ukrainian soldiers that were killed. The sources can't check the numbers that either side gives.

Analysts say that Bakhmut isn't very important from a strategic point of view, but it has become a focus for Russian commanders who are having trouble getting good news to the Kremlin.

If the city was taken over by Russia, it would be a little closer to its goal of controlling the entire Donetsk region. One of the four places that Russia took over was Donetsk. It was taken over last September after sham referendums. Ukrainian commanders have put a lot of resources into defending the city. They say their plan is to keep Russia's forces busy and stop Moscow from launching any more offensives in the next few months.

Russia's Ministry of Defense said that the Russian forces had killed "more than 220 Ukrainian soldiers." Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi, who is in charge of Ukraine's ground forces, said that the Russian mercenary Wagner Group was attacking his troops from all sides. This was done in an attempt to be able to break through the defenses and move into the main parts of the town.

The attack on Bakhmut by Russia is based on the paramilitary group. Its leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, and his private army are all counting on taking Bakhmut. He mentioned on Sunday that the situation in the city was difficult and that the enemy was fighting for every meter. On Saturday, the Institute for the Study of War had reported that Moscow's offense was stalling.

There were about 70,000 people living in Bakhmut before the invasion took place. However, there are only a few thousand left now. Pavlo Kyrylenko, the governor of the Donetsk region, said that people who stay in the city are putting themselves in danger. On Monday, four people were hurt in Bakhmut. Bakhmut has been given political importance by Ukraine. 

President Zelensky has made the city a symbol of resistance.When he went to Washington in December, he called it "the fortress of our morale" and gave a Bakhmut flag to the US Congress. Monday, a bill was introduced in the Russian parliament that would change the age range for mandatory military service from 18–27 to 21–30. Russia had trouble when it tried to send thousands of new soldiers to fight in the Ukraine war. When a partial military mobilization was announced in September, men of draught age lined up for hours at border crossings to avoid being called up. 

Sources said that the reports of fighting-age men that were fleeing had been exaggerated.