CNN: Russia lost 5 times more soldiers in Bakhmut than Ukraine

Russian troops have lost at least five service people for every Ukrainian soldier killed defending Donetsk Oblast's Bakhmut, CNN reported on March 6, citing an unnamed NATO military official.

The official told CNN that the 5:1 ratio was an estimation based on the alliance's intelligence, adding that Ukraine has also suffered significant losses on the Bakhmut front line.

The battle for Bakhmut, a city in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region, has been raging for the past seven months. The Russian military is attempting to increase its grip over the entirety of Donetsk Oblast, around half of which it currently occupies.

The commander of the Ground Forces of Ukraine, Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, said on March 6 that the tensions surrounding Bakhmut had peaked as Russia threw even more Wagner mercenary forces onto the battlefield.

Syrskyi added, however, that the Ukrainian military in Bakhmut "inflicted significant losses on the enemy, destroyed a large number of vehicles, forced Wagner's best assault units to fight, and reduced the enemy's offensive potential."

According to the U.K. Defense Ministry, the Russian army and Wagner Group mercenaries have recently advanced into the northern suburb of Bakhmut, "which is now a Ukrainian-held salient, vulnerable to Russian attacks on three sides.

The Ukrainian military said on March 2 that the option to withdraw from Bakhmut is on the table, but such a decision will only be made if it is "absolutely necessary."

Ukrainian infantrymen recently told the Kyiv Independent of unprepared, poorly-trained battalions being sent to the front line to survive as best they could with little support from armored vehicles, mortars, artillery, drones, and tactical information.