According to an investigation by Washington Post, Ukrainian forces have suffered significant casualties in men and weapons since the start of the war and Western officials are questioning whether resisting Bakhmut is a wise strategy (LIVE UPDATES). “The quality of Ukrainian forces has been degraded by a year of losses, the mood of front-line troops is grim, some Ukrainian officials question Kiev’s readiness to mount spring counter-offensive. WP reports Ukraine it may have suffered as many as 120,000 killed and wounded, compared to the Russians’ 200,000, although losses are kept secret even from the Allies.
But Kiev is also thinking about the next counter-offensive
The Washington Post notes, based on assessments from Western and Ukrainian sources, that the influx of inexperienced recruits, brought into battle by Kiev’s army to plug losses, has changed the profile of Ukrainian forces, which also suffer from a shortage ammunition base, including artillery shells and mortar bombs, according to military personnel in the field. However, the situation on the battlefield may not reflect a complete picture of Ukrainian forces, because Kiev is training troops for the upcoming counteroffensive separately and deliberately withholding them from ongoing fighting, including defending Bakhmut, a US official said.