The Ukrainian military decided that it will throw in the kitchen sink to defend the Russian-annexed city of Bakhmut located in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, which has been raging since August.
The town is being destroyed as Russian and Ukrainian forces continue to clash to stake claim to the strategic area.
President Volodymyr Zelensky held a meeting with some of his military leaders last Monday—including Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, the top general, who agreed that Bakhmut should be reinforced, but now there are conflicting reports that Ukraine is considering a withdrawal after recent losses.
Zelensky told reporters that he was informed that he should not withdraw and, instead, directed the military to “find the appropriate forces to help the guys in Bakhmut.”
TRENDPOST: Just last month, Zelensky referred to the city as “our fortress,” and Bakhmut has become something of a symbol of Ukraine’s resistance. Officials in Kyiv have said that the fall of Bakhmut could result in a morale victory for Russians and help them advance further east.
And as though all Zelensky says and does should be taken as the truth, while there are reports of Ukraine losing the fight and hundreds of its soldiers dying, instead the headline news is Zelensky said that since March 6, Ukraine’s forces had “managed to eliminate more than 1,100 enemy soldiers.”
Oleksandr Syrsky, the commander of Ukraine’s ground forces, said the fight for Bakhmut helps Kyiv buy time to prepare for a counteroffensive, Al Jazeera reported.
“The real heroes now are the defenders who are holding the eastern front on their shoulders, and inflicting the heaviest possible losses sparing neither themselves nor the enemy,” Syrsky said, according to the report. “It is necessary to buy time to build reserves and launch a counteroffensive, which is not far off.”
Lloyd Austin, the U.S. defense secretary, accused Russia of throwing unprepared and poorly trained troops into the fight. There have been reports that Russia’s Wagner mercenary group has been using prison inmates in the fight there.
“What I do see on a daily basis is the Russians continuing to pour in a lot of ill-trained and ill-equipped troops, and those troops are very quickly meeting their demise,” he said.
British intelligence said Saturday that the mercenary group is now in control of most of the town’s eastern portion. DW reported that there is a river, the Bakhmutova, that splits the city that now serves as a front line. (See “U.S. PROVIDES UKRAINE WITH MORE AMMUNITION TO KEEP BLOODYING THE KILLING FIELDS” 7 Mar 2023 and “ESTONIA EXPRESSES CONCERN THAT PEACE COULD BE ACHIEVED IN UKRAINE” 7 Mar 2023.)
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of Wagner, said in a video posted on Telegram that his forces were about three-quarters of a mile from the town’s center.
Ukrainian soldiers defending Bakhmut said Russian forces have been exploiting weak spots.
TREND FORECAST: Russia has said the longer the war drags on, the more land it will have to seize to create a buffer between the two states. The Western media tries to pretend there is some kind of time limit for the conflict, but Moscow, as we had forecast when the Ukraine War began a year ago, will defeat Ukraine and get what it wants.