Let's take a look at the battle map. What is going on around Bakhmut
Bakhmut (Photo:REUTERS / Oleksandr Ratushniak)
The situation around Bakhmut is complicated, but there is nothing new here.
It became significantly more complicated after Blahodatne and Krasna Hora were captured, and a few days ago after the enemy took control of Berkhivka and Yahidne, it became, I would not say critical, but very threatening. That is, Bakhmut is being captured from different sides - from the north and from the south, and actually, blowing up the dam in the north is an attempt, and a quite effective one, to stop the Russian offensive in order to regroup and give our troops the opportunity to prepare new lines of defense, to break slightly the offensive rush of the Russians.
If you look at the battle map — I don't think it's a secret now, that from a military point of view, defending Bakhmut at all costs is not logical in my opinion. As far as I understand, battles there are and will be fought to achieve several goals. These may not be identical, but they are related.
On the one hand, this is to grind down the maximum number of enemies and make them use a large quantity of ammo, because they, like us, are somewhat projectile hungry (not to the same extent as us, but they also have a problem with munitions).
Secondly, to prevent the collapse of the defensive line — because there is an organized retreat, and there is a rout. It is clear that a rout cannot be allowed in any case, because this not only will lead to the abandonment of the settlement, it causes problems in the defense as a whole.
The third point is to ensure the preparation of new fortified borders. Because if you are retreating from a settlement, especially one like Bakhmut (it was one of the strongholds of the second line of defense — Siversk-Soledar-Bakhmut), a large city, it is impossible to organize such a retreat in one day or one week. It is always done so that part of the troops retreats to previously prepared lines, and the other part covers the retreat.
There is no logic to protect Bakhmut at any cost
As I understand it, this is exactly what is happening now. The troops are restraining the enemy, especially on the flanks, and prepare new fronts, grind down the Russian invaders and organize what is necessary to ensure the organized retreat of the Ukrainian armed forces. Again, this is my subjective point of view, maybe I'm wrong, but I think that sooner or later, most likely, Bahmut will be abandoned.
If you look at the map, when it is captured from two sides, it does not make any sense to defend it at any cost, especially if it will lead to the encirclement and death or capture of a large number of Ukrainian servicemembers. That is, there is no logic to protect Bakhmut at any cost.
The biggest problem is cutting off all available supply routes, primarily ammunition. When the lines of communication are cut, a military formation, even if it is sufficiently numerous and has good fortified positions, sooner or later will be surrounded and defeated. Perhaps not a very correct example from the point of view of our readers, but this was the situation with the huge Russian group around Kherson. At that time, the Russians took an absolutely logical step in this situation. They conducted an organized retreat.
Now the situation is somewhat similar to Bakhmut, but for us. Bakhmut lasted long enough. Especially since after the Russians managed to take Soledar, everyone predicted that Bakhmut would hold out for a few days at most. It lasted long enough. I think it will hold on, but from the perspective of the slow but relentless movement to capture this city from various sides, the logic in holding Bakhmut at any cost has fallen away.
I think everyone paid attention to the brawl, to the duel between Prigozhin and Gerasimov due to the shortage of ammunition. In fact, PMC Wagner (actually, an organized criminal group, but OK, let’s pretend its a PMC) today is almost the most effective unit of the Russian army, which, although at a high price, and rather leisurely, achieves its goals. A few days ago, another warehouse of ammunition was blown up, which, according to my information, belongs to Wagner (this is about Kadiivka). This slowed down their progress.
And again, when our military decided whether or not it was worth keeping the enemy at these or other frontiers, they took into account such circumstances as weather. An increase in precipitation, atypical for this time of year, always slows down the advance, because the sticky soil makes it difficult to move quickly and makes it practically impossible to use heavy armored vehicles.
Our logic was determined by this circumstance — to try to hold the lines as long as possible, to try to hold off the enemy's current offensive, which is trying to attack from different directions, in order to cause maximum damage on the enemy with minimum losses, and to save our resources for a potential offensive, which we all hope will happen in the coming months.
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