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HomeWorldUkraine leaders vow to bolster Bakhmut defence as battle rages

Ukraine leaders vow to bolster Bakhmut defence as battle rages


Ukrainian military leaders have expressed their determination to hold Bakhmut as Russian troops push into the devastated eastern city they spent six months trying to capture at the cost of thousands of lives.

President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office said Monday he discussed the Bakhmut operation with the chief of general staff and the commander of the ground forces, both of whom spoke in favor of “further strengthening of the positions in Bakhmut” and continuation of the defensive operation.

Intense Russian shelling targeted the city in the Donetsk region and nearby villages, while Moscow launched a three-sided attack to try and end Bakhmut’s resistance.

The nearby towns of Chasiv Yar and Kostiantynivka came under heavy shelling, damaging cars and houses and setting fires. No casualties were immediately reported.

Police and volunteers evacuated people from Chasiv Yar and other frontline towns in an operation complicated by the destruction of bridges and constant artillery fire that left barely a house standing.

Russia is trying to encircle Bakhmut to secure its first major win in more than half a year. Its capture would be the culmination of a winter offensive that saw the bloodiest fighting of the war.

Following Russian gains in recent weeks, Ukrainian troops have reinforced positions west of Bakhmut in preparation for a possible retreat. However, reports from commanders on Monday suggested that they had not yet decided to withdraw.

The intense battle depleted both sides’ artillery reserves as thousands of shells are fired daily along the eastern and southern fronts. Kiev’s European allies are working on a deal to buy more ammunition for the battle.

Meanwhile, Washington has said that even if the eastern city fell to Russia, it would not change the momentum of the war.

Speaking to reporters in the Middle East, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he would not predict when or if Ukrainian troops will leave the city, but that the fall “does not necessarily mean that the Russians will turn the tide of this struggle changed”.

“I think it’s more of a symbolic value than a strategic and operational value,” Austin said.

Moscow says capturing the city would be a step towards its main goal of conquering the entire surrounding Donbas region. Kiev says Russia’s losses in capturing a city reduced to rubble could determine the future course of the war by destroying combat power ahead of potentially decisive battles later this year.

According to the army, the commander of the Ukrainian ground forces, Oleksandr Syrskyi, visited Bakhmut on Sunday. He said the Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary army, had thrown additional troops into the battle, but the Ukrainian soldiers kept fighting.

Volodymyr Nazarenko, a Ukrainian commander in Bakhmut, said there was no order to withdraw and that “the defenses are holding up”, albeit in appalling conditions.

“The situation in Bakhmut and around it is hell, just like on the entire eastern front,” Nazarenko said in a video posted to Telegram.

Wagner accusations

In the latest sign of a feud between the Russian army and the Wagner Group that led the Bakhmut attack, Wagner’s boss demanded more ammunition and said his aide had been barred from the army’s operational headquarters.

Yevgeny Prigozhin said he had written a letter to the Ukrainian campaign commander on Sunday “about the urgent need to allocate ammunition”. On Monday morning, he said his representative at operations headquarters canceled his pass and was denied entry.

There was no direct comment from the Russian Defense Ministry. Since the beginning of this year, the campaign in Ukraine has been personally led by Russia’s top general, Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov.

On Monday, Prigozhin warned in a Russian social media post that the situation in Bakmut “will turn out to be a ‘pie’: the filling is the parts of the armed forces of Ukraine surrounded by us (in case, of course, if there is a complete encirclement of Bakhmut), and the shell is in fact the Wagner group.

Colonel General Syrskyi, after visiting Bakhmut, noted that the battle has escalated with the deployment of additional Wagner troops.

Ukrainian forces are focused on the defense of the north of the city to prevent the encirclement and “inflicted significant casualties on the enemy, destroyed a large amount of equipment, forced the best Wagner assault units to be thrown into battle, and exploited the offensive potential of the enemy reduced,” Syrski said. said.

A spokesman for Ukraine’s 10th Mountain Brigade, Mykyta Shandyba, told Ukrainian television that “it was clear” that Russian forces were suffering from a shortage of ammunition that had limited their advance into Bakhmut.

However, he said Russia’s attacks had intensified in recent days with groups of 30 people attempting to breach Ukrainian defense lines.

“They’ve failed so far,” he said.

Bakhmut’s importance has become symbolic. For Russian President Vladimir Putin, a victory there would finally bring good news from the front. For Kiev, the display of determination and defiance reinforces a message that Ukraine retains after a year of relentless attacks, justifying continued support from its Western allies.


Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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