The United States assesses that Russia’s focus on capturing Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, means that intense fighting in eastern Ukraine will continue for several more months, Sky News reported on Jan. 5, citing an unnamed U.S. official.
Furthermore, the source said other areas of the front could soon develop into Bakhmut-like hot spots.
“The fighting is still quite hot (in Donetsk Oblast) ...” the official said.
“What we're seeing in Bakhmut we should expect to see elsewhere along the front, that there will be continued fighting in the coming months.”
Bakhmut is important to Russia because it is located on the strategic supply line between the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. If Moscow’s forces manage to gain control of the city, they could use it as a bridgehead to advance towards major cities of Kramatorsk and Slovyansk.
The town of Bakhmut remains one of the hottest spots on the front. The Kremlin has been trying to take it for more than six months, throwing huge waves of personnel in a series of relentless infantry attacks.
According to the Ukrainian military, the Russians are losing 50 to 100 people KIA per day at Bakhmut.