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Monday, March 27, 2023

General Alexander Syrsky: Bakhmut’s defense continues

The situation around Bakhmut remains difficult, said Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrsky, commander of the Ukrainian ground forces.

“During difficult battles, our defenders inflict heavy losses on the enemy. Artillery, tank and other gunfire repel all enemy attempts to capture the city,” Syrsky said. stressed that the defense of the city continues.

In a March 12 video message, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that “in less than a week – since March 6 – and in the direction of Bakhmut alone, more than 1,100 enemy soldiers have been destroyed.”

“These are irretrievable losses of Russia, losses right there, near Bakhmut. In addition, at least a thousand and a half enemy medical losses are incompatible wounds for them with the continuation of the fighting. In addition, dozens of enemy vehicles were destroyed. In addition, Russian ammunition depots burned – more than ten,” Zelensky stressed.

The President of Ukraine expressed his gratitude to all soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, intelligence services, shaman fighters, national guards, border guards – “everyone who really fights for Ukrainian land, for Bakhmut! ”

The Wall Street Journal reported that on Saturday March 11 there were battles over a narrow river dividing the city.

“Ukrainian forces were forced out of their positions on the east bank of the river, which flows north to south and now marks the front line between Wagnerian militants leading the Russian offensive in Bakhmut and Ukrainian troops defending the town” , indicates the document. .

According to Radio Liberty, the British Ministry of Defense said Ukrainian forces held the western part of the city and destroyed key bridges over the Bakhmutka River.

Journalist Ulyana Bezpalko quotes the words of Sergey Cherevaty, spokesperson for the Eastern Group of Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, explaining why the defense of Bakhmut is important: “To exhaust and bleed the enemy, causing him to lose his physical abilities of new attacks and reduce his moral potential.

In a report on Bakhmut, the Euronews agency notes that for Russia this city is a theoretical opportunity to declare victory, to “compensate” for the military failures of the end of last year.

“Already in December, Ukrainian and Western observers reported that it was Bakhmut who had become Moscow’s main target, and large forces were sent to capture him,” the report said.

On Twitter, the State Border Service of Ukraine points out that another assault by Russian troops was repelled in the direction of Bakhmut and that a mercenary from the Wagner group was captured.

“The stormtroopers tried to attack the border guard observation post. Our fighters fought back and forced the invaders to retreat,” the message read.

Volodymyr Bondarenko, chairman of the board of directors of the Taras Shevchenko Institute for Political and Marketing Studies, notes the unprecedented resilience and courage of the Ukrainian army, which holds the line in Bakhmut.

“There is an industrial area there, and it’s easier to defend there, but if there happens to be an order to withdraw, then there are already impregnable fortresses on other defense lines during this period of defense of Bakhmut. During the defense of Bakhmut, we managed to gather and mobilize a powerful army, train it, accumulate forces so that we could continue the counteroffensive in the directions we wanted,” Vladimir Bondarenko told the correspondent of the media’s Russian service.

He noted that today there is no task to guard the city “at any cost”: everything depends on the strategic and tactical planning of the command. As soon as Ukraine has enough weapons, tanks and, apparently, planes, the Russians will have to think about where to defend themselves, Bondarenko said.

“If trenches are already being dug in Crimea, then I am convinced that the time is not far when the armed forces will liberate all of our territory,” the expert said.

Valery Dymov, director of the Center of Social Information Technologies “Forum”, says that the containment of Bakhmut is part of the plans of the strategic defense operation of the General Staff and the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine , which thwarted the Russian offensive in the Donetsk direction.

“Russia was going to go on the offensive, and they talked about it. They had plans for February 24, 2023, so that Putin would have something to say on the anniversary of the large-scale aggression, they had plans to reach the borders of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of here on March 1. Then report on the completed plans for the special operation and the desire to negotiate, how to secure the temporarily occupied territories as a declared task for Russian citizens, ”says Dymov.

The analyst notes that the objective of the Russian side in the battles for Bakhmut was to “seat” the Ukrainian authorities at the negotiating table.

“But we saw that all those forces that Russia was preparing were exhausted near Bakhmut. The most combat-ready units, I’m not talking about Prigozhin convicts, but trained attack aircraft. And the role of Wagnerians and others is shown even in the information space that Bakhmut’s defense was correct, ”Dymov emphasizes.

The defense of Bakhmut, according to him, did not allow Russia to develop an offensive in other directions.

“In the event of a successful capture of Bakhmut, they would go to Kremennaya and Svatovo, and possibly along the direction of Zaporizhzhia. But they were forced to throw all their forces and reserves into Bakhmut’s furnace, seven to one. And with all these units that they were preparing for an offensive on the whole front, they were forced to respond to the plans of the Ukrainian General Staff and the Ukrainian Armed Forces near Bakhmut,” explains the Ukrainian expert.

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