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Ukraine updates: Russia likely suffering high casualty rate

February 12, 2023

Britain's Ministry of Defense said a lack of trained personnel, coordination and resources could account for the high casualty rate. Ukraine also continues to suffer a higher attrition rate, it said. DW has the latest.

Ukrainian soldier walks along building in Bakhmut
According to British intelligence, both Ukrainian and Russian forces have been suffering a high attrition rateImage: Yevhenii Zavhorodnii

Over the last two weeks, Russia has likely suffered its highest rate of casualties since the first week of the war in Ukraine, Britain's defense ministry said on Sunday.

"The Ukrainian General Staff release daily statistics on Russian casualties. Although Defense Intelligence cannot verify Ukraine's methodology, the trends the data illustrate are likely accurate. The mean average for the last seven days was 824 casualties per day, over four times the rate reported over June-July 2022," the ministry said in a statement published on Twitter.

 Ukraine also continues to suffer a high attrition rate, it added.

The statement went on to say that the uptick in Russian casualties was likely due to various factors including "lack of trained personnel, coordination and resources across the front," adding that this was exemplified in Vuhledar and Bakhmut."

Here are some of the other notable developments concerning the war in Ukraine on Sunday, February 12.

Olympics on right side of history on Russia, committee chief says

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach has defended the body's announcement that it could open a "pathway" to allow some Russian and Belarusian sportspeople to compete in the Paris 2024 games as "neutral athletes."

Asked whether the IOC could be on the wrong side of history in leaving room for the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes, Bach said:  "No, history will show who is doing more for peace. The ones who try to keep lines open, to communicate, or the ones who want to isolate or divide."

"We have shown this in the past with great success in the Olympic movement,'' Bach said. "Our role is bringing people together."

"Every Ukrainian athlete can rest assured that we are standing in full solidarity with them and that all their comments are taken very, very seriously into consideration," he said.

Referring to Ukraine and a number of other countries' opposition to the move to include Russian and Belarusian players, Bach said: "It is not up to governments to decide who can take part in which sports competitions because this would be the end of international sport competitions and of world championships and Olympic Games as we know it."

Bach said that the IOC had to address the "serious concerns" of the UN human rights council that excluding Belarusian and Russian sportspeople over their citizenship could amount to a rights violation.

Ukrainian electrical production restored, says energy minister

Ukrainian power plants are once again supplying the country's electrical grid, despite Russian rocket attacks on its power infrastructure, Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko said.

The minister said that power production matched consumption on Sunday.

He added that outages remained in some areas due to damage to distribution networks.

All nine reactor blocks of Ukrainian-controlled nuclear power plants have been reconnected to the grid, Galushchenko said.

The minister warned that falling temperatures and rising demand could cause energy shortages at the start of the coming week.

UK arms, military vehicles could be made in Ukraine under license — Telegraph

Britain's Telegraph newspaper reports that British defense industry executives have travelled to Kyiv to discuss plans to allow Ukraine to manufacture British arms and military vehicles locally.

Manufacturers in other European countries were also in discussions with Kyiv, the Telegraph reported, citing a defense industry executive.

The executive said there was a race to put the UK "at the front of the queue."

Europe should distribute refugees more evenly — German Interior Minister Faeser

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser argues that Europe should better coordinate the distribution of Ukrainian refugees across countries.

Faeser made the comments in an interview for Germany's Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

"Poland has so far taken in more than 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees, Spain 160,000," said Faeser. "It can't remain that way."

Russia's Wagner mercenaries claim to take village near Bakhmut

Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the Wagner mercenary group, says that the force has taken the village of Krasna Hora near the city of Bakhmut.

"Today the settlement of Krasna Hora was taken by the assault troops of the Wagner private military company," Prigozhin said in an audio message published on Telegram.

He also posted a video that appeared to show Wagner fighters at the entrance sign to Krasna Hora.

The Reuters news agency said it could not independently verify the claim.

Ukraine, US defense heads discuss "priorities" for the allies' meeting

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov held talks on "priorities", including air defense and artillery, for the forthcoming meetings of Ukraine's allies in Brussels, the two sides said late Saturday.

Austin and Reznikov discussed the importance of delivering promised capabilities as quickly as possible, a statement from the Pentagon's chief spokesperson, Brigadier General Patrick Ryder, said.

Following the call, the Ukrainian Defense Minister said on Twitter that "the United States is unwavering in its support of Ukraine."

Reznikov added that the situation on the frontline was also discussed.

Ukrainian soldiers exiting military vehicle
Ukrainian commander Valeriy Zaluzhnyi said that Kyiv's forces are "reliably" holding the defense along the frontline in the Donetsk regionImage: Yevhenii Zavhorodnii/REUTERS

Ukraine working to 'stabilize' frontline in Donetsk — Ukrainian commander

Ukrainian forces are holding along the frontline in Donetsk, including that of the beleaguered town of Bakhmut, as battles rage on for the the cities of Vuhledar and Maryinka, Kyiv's top military commander has said.

According to Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces, Russia carries out nearly 50 attacks daily in the southeastern region of Donetsk. 

"Fierce fighting continues in the area of Vuhledar and Maryinka," Zaluzhnyi said in a Telegram message on Saturday.

"We reliably hold the defense. In some areas of the front we have managed to regain previously lost positions and gained a foothold."

However, he did not provide details on where gains were taking place.

He said that Kyiv's forces continue to hold Bakhmut and are trying to "stabilize" the frontline around the town.

City of Kyiv and 3 regions to avoid power cuts after strike

Three big regions can avoid power cuts after a Russian strike, says Ukraine.

Three major Ukrainian regions and the capital Kyiv will be able to avoid electricity cuts on Sunday, leading producer DTEK said as authorities worked to repair power grids damaged during a major Russian attack.

DTEK said that grid operator Ukrenergo had not imposed any additional curbs on consumption on Sunday, which meant there should be no power cuts in Kyiv and the surrounding region as well as the regions of Odesa and Dnipro.

Russia's defense ministry had said in a statement that its forces had conducted a "massive strike" on crucial energy facilities of Ukraine's military-industrial complex on Friday.

Zelenskyy sacks senior security official, says clean up drive continues

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has issued a decree sacking Ruslan Dziuba as deputy commander of the National Guard.

The decree did not specify any reasons for the top security official's discharge.

Saturday's move is the latest among dismissals of dozens of officials in the last few weeks as authorities have opened investigations as part of a massive drive against wrongdoing.

According to the European Union, addressing corruption is a prerequisite for Ukraine joining the 27-nation bloc.

On Saturday, Zelenskyy said in a separate statement that his drive to clean up the government would continue.

dvv,sdi/kb (Reuters, AP)