The Russian army is “successfully” advancing in the area of ​​the eastern Ukrainian cities of Bakhmut and Vugledar, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shaigu said. said Tuesday.

“The US and its allies are trying to drag out the conflict as long as possible,” Shaigu said, referring to military aid promised to Kiev by American and European allies.

“Such steps involve NATO countries in the conflict and can lead to its unpredictable escalation,” Shaigu added.

According to Shaigu, over the past month, Ukraine lost more than 6,500 soldiers, as well as 26 planes, 7 helicopters and 341 tanks.

Russian forces have been trying to seize control of Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk region for months in what has become the longest and bloodiest battle since Russia invaded Ukraine last February.

On Sunday, the head of the notorious Russian group of mercenaries, Yevgeny Prigozhin, hired Wagner said that there is heavy fighting in the northern areas of Bakhmut.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky promised to fight for Bakhmut “as long as we can” on Saturday.

Western officials estimate Russian casualties in its nearly year-long invasion at close to 200,000 people killed or wounded, The New York Times informed this month.

This was reported by AFP.

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