At Least 75% Of Bakhmut Has Been Taken, Says Russian Official
Russian forces and officials say that at least 75% of the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region is under their control, after months of fierce fighting for the strategic area which many observers believe could determine the future tide of the war.
Denis Pushilin, the Russian-installed head of Ukraine’s Donetsk region, issued the following statement Monday: “I can say with absolute certainty, that more than 75 percent of the city is under the control of our units.”
Reuters notes the optimism on the Russian side, given also the Ukrainians have for weeks been on the verge of being completely encircled: “Russia says the capture of Bakhmut will open up the possibility for future offensives across Ukraine, while Kyiv and the West say the now smashed city has only symbolic importance,” according to the report.
But head of the Ukrainian army’s ground forces Oleksandr Syrskyi alleged Russia and Wagner Group have made such gains by employing “scorched earth” tactics learned in Syria. He says this has included leveling whole buildings and Ukrainian positions with air strikes.
According to CNN, Ukraine might amend its military plans ahead of an expected counteroffensive after leaked classified Pentagon papers.
Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said Ukraine’s strategic plans remained unchanged but that more specific tactical plans were always subject to change. “There are strategic tasks – they are unchangeable,” he told the Reuters news agency. “But operational and tactical scenarios are constantly refined, based on an assessment of the situation on the battlefield, resource provision, intelligence data on the enemy’s resources, etc,” he said.
The leaks have reportedly resulted in Kiev officials being “deeply frustrated” – given that in some cases detailed Pentagon assessments of the battlefield have hit the web. However, Ukrainian officials have also tried to question the documents’ authenticity, or whether they’ve been manipulated by the Kremlin.
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) April 10, 2023
As for Bakhmut, if Ukrainian forces are finally kicked out, there’s a widespread believe this is likely to make Ukraine more open to negotiations toward a ceasefire. But this would probably to involve territorial concessions, starting with a willingness to forever give up claims to Crimea.
Mon, 04/10/2023 – 18:00