The Ukrainian army refuses to give up the fight in Bakhmout


The Ukrainian army affirmed Monday, during a meeting with President Zelensky, its desire to “strengthen” the positions in Bakhmout.





by IM with AFP

A city of some 70,000 inhabitants before the war, Bakhmout has become, because of the length of the battle and the heavy losses incurred by both sides, the symbol of the struggle between Russians and Ukrainians for control of the industrial region of Donbass .
© IGNACIO MARIN / ANADOLU AGENCY / Anadolu Agency via AFP

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AThen Russian troops surrounded Bakhmout, a symbolic city located in eastern Ukraine, which had been the epicenter of the conflict for several weeks, rumors indicated that the Ukrainian army would be ready to retreat. Rumors formally denied by the Ukrainian commanders-in-chief on the ground. The latter even intend to “reinforce” their positions in Bakhmout.

This announcement comes at a time when the boss of the Russian paramilitary group Wagner, Evgueni Prigojine, has once again complained of a lack of ammunition for his men, on the front line in this battle which has been going on since last summer.

Far from backing down, while rumors of a withdrawal have been rife for a week, the commanders-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces “have come out in favor of continuing the defensive operation and strengthening our positions in Bakhmout” during a meeting on Monday with the head of state Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian presidency said.

READ ALSOWar in Ukraine: with those who remain in the hell of BakhmoutThe American think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW) for its part estimated on Sunday evening that the Ukrainian army was “probably in the process of carrying out a tactical retreat of limited magnitude” in Bakhmout.

A city of some 70,000 inhabitants before the war, Bakhmout has become, because of the length of the battle and the heavy losses incurred by both sides, the symbol of the struggle between Russians and Ukrainians for control of the industrial region of Donbass .

Russian troops have advanced in recent weeks north and south of the city, cutting off three of Ukraine’s four supply routes and leaving only the one leading further west to Chassiv Iar as an exit route.

Despite the threat of encirclement and the city’s limited strategic importance, the Ukrainians continue to fiercely defend Bakhmout, where President Zelensky visited in December and vowed to hold out “as long as possible”.

While some analysts question the interest of the Ukrainians clinging to this now devastated city, the ISW estimated in a note that the defense of Bakhmout remains “strategically sensible”, because it “continues to ‘exhaust Russian manpower and equipment’.

” Treason “

On the Russian side, the boss of Wagner Evgueni Prigojine, for the second time in less than two weeks, accused the Russian army of not sending enough ammunition to its mercenaries. He mentioned two possible reasons for the delay: “Ordinary bureaucracy or betrayal. »

Last month, Evgueni Prigojine had multiplied the virulent criticism of the Russian Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, and the Chief of Staff, Valéri Guérassimov, accusing them of wanting to eliminate Wagner by refusing them what he he needs to fight.

In a sign that tensions persist, in a video posted over the weekend, Yevgeny Prigojine appeared to warn the Russian army, saying that “if Wagner withdraws now from Bakhmout, the whole front will collapse “.

READ ALSOUkrainians and Russians trapped in Soledar’s “human chopper”Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited the martyred city of Mariupol, devastated by a destructive siege led by his army last spring. According to the Russian army, he inspected reconstruction work in the port city.

For this third visit to the conflict zone, Sergei Choigou notably visited a medical center, another emergency center and a new residential area comprising 12 buildings.

The Russian government presented a plan last summer to rebuild Mariupol in three years, a goal that seems ambitious given the scale of the destruction.

During the night from Sunday to Monday, the Ukrainian air force said it had shot down 13 Iranian-made explosive drones out of 15 launched by Russia. It did not report any human losses or material damage.

Last week, Russia reported several Ukrainian drone attacks on its territory and in annexed Crimea. She also denounced an incursion of Ukrainian “saboteurs” in the Briansk region, bordering Ukraine.




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