MOSCOW, January 19. /TASS/. Ukraine’s military used 14 brigades in the Artyomovsk (Bakhmut) and Soledar areas, with their battles with Russian forces resulting in a loss of 60%-70% of their personnel, military expert Colonel Vitaly Kiselev, of the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) has said.
"The enemy sent about 14 brigades, manned by territorial defense personnel, to Artyomovsk and Soledar in an attempt to retain control of the localities. One brigade consists of approximately four thousand men. These brigades have lost about 60-70% [of their manpower]," he said on Russia’s TV Channel One.
According to Kiselev, large losses of Ukraine’s armed forces in these areas had also been reported in the West, in particular in Britain. "In these areas [the armed forces of Ukraine] have lost many soldiers. British intelligence and the British media state that Ukrainian troops have sustained heavy losses and there is no possibility of any counteroffensives [on their part]. Our artillery is pounding the enemy's defenses and squeezing its forces out of their positions. Our guys are optimistic, taking into account the successes on the frontline," the expert noted.
Earlier, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that Russian troops had completed the liberation of the city of Soledar from Ukrainian forces on the evening of January 12. He said full control of the city would allow supply routes to be cut off to Ukrainian troops in Artyomovsk , located in the southwest, after which any Ukrainian forces that remained there could be sealed off and trapped.