According to Serhiy Popko, Chief of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, approximately 20,000 soldiers from the Russian private military contractor Wagner were killed during intense fighting in Bakhmut, a city in eastern Ukraine.
Popko made this shocking revelation during a press conference, shedding light on the significant loss of life on the Russian side. He emphasized that this figure was based on intelligence reports and estimates, and while it could not be independently verified, it highlights the severity of the conflict.
The fighting in Bakhmut has been ongoing for years as part of the larger conflict in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists. The involvement of Wagner soldiers, who are known to have ties to the Russian government, adds to the situation’s complexity and ferocity. The large number of casualties reveals the heavy toll the conflict has taken on both sides and serves as a stark reminder of the human cost of the ongoing hostilities.
Popko’s revelation occurs at a time when calls for a peaceful resolution and diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the conflict have drawn more attention from around the world to the situation in Ukraine. The admission of such a significant loss of life may change the dynamics of subsequent negotiations and increase the need for a lasting solution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine.