KYIV, Ukraine — Russia appears to be suffering severe losses as it wages its new offensive in eastern Ukraine, amid some of the bloodiest fighting in months, according to Ukrainian officials and independent analysts.

Russia has thrown thousands of troops and hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles into the offensive, which is focused mainly on the strategic city of Avdiivka and further north near the city of Kupiansk. Russian forces for roughly two weeks have been trying to encircle Avdiivka, which is one of the most heavily fortified areas of Ukraine’s frontline.

Ukrainian officials on Sunday claimed Russia had lost over 6,000 soldiers in a week, as well as over 400 armored vehicles and tanks. Britain’s defense intelligence claimed Russian casualties have spiked by 90% since it began the offensive.

ABC cannot independently verify those numbers, but numerous videos of the Russian attacks around Avdiivka released by Ukrainian units suggest Russia is taking losses on a scale not since last winter.

Some of the videos show columns of Russian armor coming under withering Ukrainian fire as they try to advance, pummelled by artillery and anti-tank missiles, and running into minefields. In other videos, Russian forces can be seen being barraged by U.S.-supplied cluster munitions. Large groups of Russian infantry can be seen being struck by artillery.

Continue reading