Russian forces lost 29 artillery systems and 16 armored personnel vehicles (APVs) in the past 24 hours, kyiv said on Sunday.

Moscow’s troops have lost a total of 3,258 artillery systems and 7,398 APVs since the outbreak of the full-scale war in February 2022, the General Staff of the Ukrainian forces said in a social media post on Sunday. Five APVs were taken out of service along with 19 artillery systems during the previous 24-hour period, the General Staff said on Saturday.

news week he was unable to independently verify these figures. Russia’s Defense Ministry has been contacted for comment by email.

Artillery has been crucial to both sides in the ongoing war, with the Center for Strategic and International Studies calling the conflict an “artillery war” in January. In April, the Institute for the Study of Warfare think tank said Russia “relied heavily on artillery to make up for key deficiencies” among its forces.

Artillery in Bakhmut
This still image taken from AFP footage shows Ukrainian servicemen firing a D-30 howitzer at Russian positions near Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine on March 21, 2023. Artillery has been crucial to both sides in the war. in progress.

Also on Sunday, the General Staff said Russian forces launched seven missile attacks and 70 airstrikes on Saturday, causing an unspecified number of civilian casualties.

Moscow has “restarted frequent long-range missile attacks in Ukraine” since early May, Britain’s Defense Ministry said on Sunday. These strikes are likely to be carried out to affect Ukraine’s air defences, the ministry said in an update posted on Twitter.

Heavy fighting continues in the devastated eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, the General Staff added in its Sunday morning update. The city remains “the epicenter of the fighting,” the Ukrainian army added.

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday that Russian troops had supported Wagner’s mercenary fighters in capturing Bakhmut after months of fighting. Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said in a video posted to Telegram on Saturday that Russia now controlled all of Bakhmut, adding that it was “fully occupied” as of noon on May 20.

But Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar described the situation in Bakhmut as “critical” on Saturday and said reports of Bakhmut falling to Russian forces were “premature”.

“The enemy failed to encircle Bakhmut,” Maliar said in an updated social media post on Sunday. “The advance of our troops in the suburbs along the flanks, which is still going on, makes it very difficult for the enemy to stay in Bakhmut,” he said on Telegram.

The city has been destroyed, leaving “nothing,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in remarks to the media on Sunday.

“Bakhmut is only in our hearts, there is nothing,” Zelensky added.

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