Media: Russia advances at Bakhmut, possible victory will be only symbolic

Media: Russia advances at Bakhmut, possible victory will be only symbolic

Media: Russia advances at Bakhmut, victory may only be symbolic

Illustrative photo – Ukrainian tank near the town of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, February 12, 2023.

Kiev – Meter by meter, slowly but surely, Russian soldiers are occupying Ukrainian territory near the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. According to the journalists of the Russian-language BBC server, Moscow's troops are constantly shelling Ukrainian positions. The Ukrainians still hold the city, despite the lack of ammunition. The possible control of Bakhmut, of which practically nothing remains, will have only a purely symbolic value for Russia, writes the AFP agency.

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Media: Russia is advancing at Bakhmut, maybe the victory will be only symbolic

Media: Russia advances at Bakhmut, victory may only be symbolic

Mémedia: Russia advances near Bakhmut, possibly the test will only be symbolic

Media: Russia advances at Bakhmut, victory may be symbolic

Men without arms or legs, deprived of them by mines and artillery shells, retreat from a battlefield riddled with trenches and cratered by shelling. “It's like Verdun,” says Ivan, an ambulance driver waiting by the roadside, comparing the fighting to World War I battles. The battle for Bakhmut, now in its seventh month, is, according to AFP, like the fighting on the Western Front in France in 1916 bloody, long and futile. Mark Cancian of the US Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). When Moscow's first attempts to encircle the city failed, Russia continued its attacks, he said. If they eventually succeed and capture Bakhmut, “it will mean nothing from an operational and strategic point of view”, believes Cancian.

“It has a lot of symbolism, so if they got hold of Bakhmut, they would make it an important matter. But it wouldn't be like that,” he says, adding that there is only one thing left for the Ukrainians. “If this is a place where the Russians are attacking, then the Ukrainians have no choice but to defend,” says Cancian.

The Battle of Bakhmut is one of the fiercest battles since the Russian invasion began last February. Russian forces are gradually occupying new territory, with the support of the fighters of the private Wagner (translated from the Russian Wagner) group. It is sending all new waves of mercenaries here, and it is said that the entire fields are littered with the bodies of killed Russians, writes the BBC.

Moscow's troops are basically in control of both main roads leading to the city. Ukrainian forces have only one narrow access road reserved for supplies, the journalists write.

(The Russians) have been trying to capture the city since July. Now they are gradually winning. They have more resources, so if they play for time, they will win. I can't say how long it will take. Maybe they will run out of resources. I really hope so,” said Iryna, spokeswoman for the 93rd Mechanized Brigade of the Ukrainian Army.

“We have only one option – to continue to victory,” one of the commanders, identified only by the first name Ihor, told a BBC reporter. The possibility of withdrawing from Bakhmut before the Russians surround the city and cut off the Ukrainian troops does not appeal to the soldiers. “If the command issues such an order, well, an order is an order. But what was the point of sticking around all these months if you have to leave the city. No, we don't want that,” said Mychajlo from the 93rd Mechanized Brigade.

< p>Despite bitter struggles, life can still be found in Bachmut – if you know where to look for it, reports the BBC reporter. A former boxing club served as a shelter, which is now lined with boxes of donated food and where people can charge their phones, have a hot meal or just talk to someone.

“When we arrived, there were a lot of people there – elderly women huddled around the stove and two small boys were sitting in the boxing ring playing computer games,” BBC journalists write. According to them, 5,000 of the original approximately 70,000 inhabitants remain in the city without water and electricity.