Ukrainian Land Forces Commander Oleksandr Syrski called the situation in Bachmut “extremely tense”. According to him, the Wagner mercenary army is sending well-trained stormtroopers to the city to break through the Ukrainian defense line.
Zelensky also indicated in his daily video message last night that the battle for Bachmut is becoming “increasingly difficult” for Ukraine. “The enemy destroys everything with which we can strengthen our positions.”
The Russians are now said to have almost surrounded Bachmut, and the Ukrainian army can only supply the city from the west.
Former commander of the land forces Mart de Kruif also sees that Bachmoet can fall into Russian hands. “But if I were the Ukrainians, I would have left much sooner. Bachmut has little military value, only a lot of symbolic value.” It would be the biggest Russian victory since the summer of 2022.
In the video below you can see what Bachmoet looks like now. Ukrainian soldiers fighting there say the Russians are sending “wave after wave of new people” and the bodies are piled up in some places.
De Kruif calls Bachmut a pyrrhic victory – a victory that costs so many men, time and effort that it almost feels like a loss to the Russian army.
He does not see the possible fall of Bachmut as a disaster for Ukraine, although it will bring the Russians closer to the strategically more important cities of Slovyansk and Kramatorsk.
In the past six months, Bachmoet was the place where the hardest fighting took place. The battle there was also described as ‘meat grinder’, because hundreds of Russian soldiers would die every day.
Once 70,000 inhabitants
Ukraine also suffered heavy losses. The city was nicknamed ‘Fortress Bachmut’ and is a symbol of the endurance of the Ukrainian army. Zelensky visited the city in December.
Before the war, about 70,000 people lived in Bachmoet, but now almost everyone has left. Due to the heavy fighting, almost nothing is left of it.
Those who still want to leave now often ask for help from a special evacuation team. The video below shows how the Ukrainian team ‘the White Angels’ lifts an elderly woman from her home and takes her to a hospital, because the woman can no longer flee on her own.
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