Bakhmut has been “a living hell” as paratroopers replace Wagner fighters,

Kostan Nechyporenko and Radina Gigova

The “constant” fighting in and around the eastern Ukraine city of Bakhmut has been “a living hell” as Russian forces try to take control of the Kostiantynivka-Bakhmut highway, a Ukrainian commander said in an interview on Ukrainian television Monday.

“Because for five or six months, near Bakhmut has been a living hell. The enemy is constantly attacking. And we can observe more about how the weather is changing, which, by the way, has a great impact on the combat capability, morale, and living conditions of each soldier,” said Volodymyr Nazarenko, deputy commander of the “Svoboda” battalion of the 4th Rapid Reaction Brigade of Ukraine’s National Guard.

He said he couldn’t say for certain whether Russian forces are making a full-scale offensive and whether their tactics have changed, but that it seems Wagner fighters have now been replaced by Russian paratroopers.

Nazarenko went on to say the Ukrainian fighters “are doing an incredible job” and are “real heroes.”

“The enemy is trying to take control of the Kostiantynivka-Bakhmut highway. They are not successful in it. Our fighters are doing their best: The Armed Forces and the National Guard are doing an incredible job; they are real heroes. And the enemy is suffering huge, huge losses,” he said.

CNN has not been able to independently verify the claims about the losses.

“What we see is that Wagner is almost completely destroyed. They have now been replaced by paratroopers, who also suffer losses almost every day, not only in manpower but also in armored vehicles,” he added.

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