More than hell. What is going on in Bakhmut and how long will the defense last?
Bakhmut (Photo:93rd Mechanized Brigade/Facebook)
Each military operation has similar features, but there are many more differences. And Bakhmut is Bakhmut.
It is quite a large city. Almost a hundred thousand people lived there before the war. It is territorially quite extensive, the terrain is complex, therefore I would not compare it with either Debaltseve or Ilovaisk. Moreover, unlike the Ilovaisk operation, where there were literally several hundred Ukrainian soldiers, mostly volunteers, we have a sufficiently powerful group in Bakhmut, – several brigades, there is a brigade of the National Guard of the Armed Forces, and there are border guards. There is excellent coordination between them, they understand what they are doing, they are responsible for certain sectors in the defense of the city, so I would not use such comparisons.
Of the events that we are observing, there are two main routes — the Kostyantynivka-Bakhmut route and the road from the city of Chasiv Yar to the western outskirts of Bakhmut. In fact, these are two roads of life along which supplies and logistics go, and the wounded are taken out from there. And of course, keeping control over these routes is vital for us. As far as I know, despite the fact that the Russians are shelling both routes and they came close enough to the Bakhmut-Kostyantynivka route, the Ukrainians still managed to push them back a little. It is in the area of Ivanivske, and Ukraine currently controls these two routes.
As far as I keep in touch with the guys who are there, there is no intention to leave Bakhmut yet, despite the complexity of the situation, despite the losses, shelling, despite the fact that it is not hell, as the guys say, but something more than hell. The mood of our military there is quite combative. Well, indeed, again in confirmation of this: a message appeared on the website of the President of Ukraine – there was a meeting of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, and as reported, Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked Valery Zaluzhnyy and Oleksandr Syrskyi questions about Bakhmut, and they confirmed that they believe it’s necessary to continue Bakhmut’s defense.
And about the publication of the German newspaper Bild, where there was allegedly a dispute between Zelenskyy and Zaluzhny about Bakhmut, I will say that, with all due respect to this newspaper, I think that Bild newspaper journalists were not invited to the post of Supreme Commander-in-Chief. And what they are reporting is not a fact, but an interpretation of some facts. Therefore, it is not worth talking about any dispute between key people who are responsible for the defense of Ukraine.
Look, the Russian losses are insane. The Secretary of the Security Council, Oleksiy Danilov, announced the ratio as one to seven, that is, for every one of our dead soldiers there are seven killed occupiers. They are really just grinding down their own army there. Further, they attempted an offensive in the Luhansk direction and they attempted an offensive near Vuhledar, and in both of these directions their so-called offensives failed. Now we can see that if the offensive near Bakhmut also fails, favorable conditions are indeed being created for Ukraine for a counteroffensive. I think that our military is preparing for this.
Therefore, with all the tragedy of the situation in Bakhmut, judging by the quality of the people we are losing there, I think that Bakhmut is fulfilling its function of slowing down the Russian offensive, grinding down Russian troops and preparing the conditions for a large Ukrainian counteroffensive.
Now everyone is working on one task – the victory of Ukraine. If there is no victory for Ukraine - all these rumors - who quarrelled with whom, who is a godfather for whom (matchmaker, brother) - they will lose their meaning, because there will be no Ukraine, there will be no one to quarrel with and no one to sell out, you understand. There is no confrontation, competition and so on, but the fact that General Syrskyi visited Bakhmut for the third time in ten days, first of all, motivates the soldiers. You know, when the soldiers see that the generals are with them, they fight, realizing that their task is important, that their lives are important, and that the generals are not afraid to risk their own lives.
Secondly, in order to plan operations properly, generals need to see everything with their own eyes. Seeing the situation on the map is one thing, but when you can observe the situation when the enemy is 700 meters away, that is a completely different feeling. And you see the problems that the soldiers have, you can see their readiness, you can observe those factors that are usually in amilitary calculator. One which operates on the number of troops and the number of armored vehicles and simply does not reflect readiness for battle, motivation, military intelligence, coherence. You can see these factors only when you are directly in the hot spot, and that is why our generals go there so often.
Spring weather is always on the side of the defender and against the attacker, because it does not allow one to advance effectively. Just a few days ago, this fork began, and the guys in Bakhmut started talking about the fact that the weather is on our side. That is, the weather prevents the effective advance of Russian troops. I think that our immediate task at this junction and the bad weather is to grind down the maximum number of Russian troops during their offensive when the weather does not favor them. But when they are exhausted, I think in 1-2 months, it is worth waiting for a Ukrainian counteroffensive. We are all waiting for it.
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