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WorldAsiaPentagon: Ukrainian forces surround Bakhmut

Pentagon: Ukrainian forces surround Bakhmut


At a press briefing, Pentagon spokesman Pete Ryder said Ukrainian forces had completely surrounded Pakhmut.

He said: “Even if Russia takes control of the lands in Bakhmut, we do not believe it is a strategic gain, just as Russian forces have paid a heavy price in terms of lives, equipment and capabilities (there).”

According to US assessments, Ukrainian forces are encircling Bakhmut, and are in a strong position, according to Ryder.

He said US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had contacted his Ukrainian counterpart in preparation for the task force meeting to support Ukraine on Thursday.

Ukrainian forces advance

In terms of fighting, Ukrainian forces have made slight progress on the outskirts of the eastern Ukrainian town of Bakhmut, which Moscow claimed to have full control of, according to Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar.

Maliar said Ukrainian forces still control the southwestern outskirts of the city and fighting continues in the suburbs, according to The Associated Press.

Ukrainian military leaders said the fighting in Bakhmut was not over yet.

Battle of Bakhmut

On Saturday, the Russian private military group “Wagner” said that its members had completely taken control of Bakhmut. The group’s commander, Yevgeny Prigozhin, appeared in a video in front of a number of fighters carrying Russian flags. He confirmed that his forces would start leaving Bakhmut on May 25 and hand over the city to the Russian army. Ukraine, for its part, has denied such control, pointing to continued fighting. The Battle of Bakhmut is the longest of the Ukrainian War, with more than 200 days of fighting. The importance of the city in eastern Ukraine lies in the fact that Russia made it a starting point to control other areas of the Donetsk region.

What does Bakhmut’s loss mean for Ukraine?

The morale of the Ukrainian forces declined after President Volodymyr Zelensyy described it as a “morale castle”. Ukraine will suffer a political defeat. The city gave the Ukrainians strategic tactics to hunt down Russian soldiers. Ukraine bet on it to change the course of the war. The battles spread to larger areas such as Kramatorsk and Sloviansk in the Donetsk region.

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