Ukraine will continue to hold the city of Bakhmut (Artemovsk). The corresponding decision was taken on March 14 at a regular meeting of the Supreme Commander’s headquarters. This was announced by the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The statement said the meeting heard reports from Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (APU) Valeriy Zaluzhny and commanders of operational and strategic groupings of troops.
“After reviewing the progress of the defense operation in the direction of Bakhmut, all members of the headquarters expressed a common position on the continued maintenance and protection of the city of Bakhmut,” the office of Zelensky.
The press release also indicates that the meeting analyzed the supply of ammunition to Ukrainian army units on the front line, and also discussed the pace and volume of equipment and weapons from Ukraine’s partners. .
Fighting in the suburb of Bakhmut, located 89 km northeast of Donetsk, began in August 2022, by October this direction had become the hottest point of the conflict. As RTVI wrote, Bakhmut is an important transport hub and plays a key role in supplying the Ukrainian Armed Forces. After taking the city, the Russian army will receive a new foothold for the offensive on Konstantinovka, Kramatorsk and Slavyansk.
In mid-February 2023, Zelensky called the situation in the Bakhmut leadership “the most difficult and hottest” and compared the city itself to a “living fortress”, while noting that the Ukrainian army would not hold it “at any price”.
Zelensky’s economic adviser, Alexander Rodnyansky, provided for the possibility of a “strategic retreat” if necessary, so as not to “sacrifice everyone for nothing”. According The Wall Street Journal newspapers, Ukraine lost several units of the most experienced military personnel near Bakhmut.
In early March, Bild, citing sources within Ukraine’s political leadership, wrote that there were disagreements between Zelensky and Zaluzhny over the situation in Bakhmut. According to the publication, a few weeks earlier, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine recommended that they consider leaving the city due to the heavy losses suffered by the Ukrainian army.
On March 3, Wagner PMC founder Yevgeny Prigozhin reported that fighters from a private military company “virtually surrounded” Bakhmut, but Ukrainian Armed Forces Eastern Group representative Serhiy Cherevaty said two days later late on the airwaves of the national telethon that the Ukrainian units had not left the city and continued to defend.
On March 6, at a regular meeting of the headquarters of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine, it was decided to continue the defense operation in Bakhmut (Artemovsk).
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