The military says Ukraine is still able to replenish its forces in damaged Bakhmut

KYIV, March 18 (Reuters) – Ukrainian forces outside the battered eastern city of Bakhmut are managing to hold off Russian units so ammunition, food, equipment and medicine can be delivered to defenders, the military said on Saturday.

And in its latest claim of heavy casualties, Kiev said its forces killed 193 Russians and wounded 199 others during Friday’s fighting.

Russia has made the capture of Bakhmut a priority in its strategy to take over Ukraine’s eastern Donbas industrial region. The city has been largely destroyed in months of fighting, and Russia has launched repeated attacks.

“We manage to deliver the necessary ammunition, food, equipment and medicine to Bakhmut. We also manage to take our wounded out of the city,” army spokesman Serhiy Cherevaty told ICTV television channel.

He said Ukrainian scouts and counter-artillery were helping to keep open some roads into the city. In addition to inflicting heavy casualties, pro-Kiov forces shot down two Russian drones and destroyed five enemy ammunition depots on Friday, he added.

Reuters was unable to independently confirm the claims. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said last Sunday that Russian forces had suffered more than 1,100 casualties in less than a week of fighting in and around Bakhmut.

Reporting by Nick Starkov; Screenplay by David Ljunggren; Surgery by Daniel Wallis

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