A house in Bakhmut, Ukraine destroyed during fighting with Russian troops, February 27, 2023.
Kyiv/Washington – Russian troops claim “tactical gains” on the northern side of the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, which has been the subject of heavy fighting in recent weeks, the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) states in the latest report on the development of the conflict. According to him, the Russians are continuing ground attacks in the area, as well as near the villages of Kreminna and Svatove, where they have probably achieved “limited progress”.
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American analysts did not provide further details about the Russian attacks in Tuesday's assessment. The information follows on from Tuesday's statement by the Ukrainian army, according to which the situation near Bakhmut is “extremely tense”. The commander of the Ukrainian ground forces, Oleksandr Syrskyj, spoke about the Russian offensive, in which the best-trained units of the mercenary Wagner group (Vagnero in Russian transcription) were deployed. “The enemy is constantly destroying everything that can serve to protect our positions,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi said on Monday.
Russia appears to be trying to encircle the city and cut off Ukrainian defenders from supply routes. The eventual capture of Bakhmut would mean Moscow's first major victory in more than half a year, albeit at the cost of heavy losses. Taking control of the city would open the way for the Russians to attack the last remaining urban centers in the Donetsk region.
In recent days, information has been coming from the places of the heaviest fighting about gradual Russian gains. On Tuesday, the reporter of the German newspaper Bild, Julian Röpcke, who has been mapping the conflict in eastern Ukraine for a long time, also wrote about the progress of the Russian occupiers in the north of Bachmut. He noted that the statements of the Wagner family are “unfortunately” more reliable in recent weeks than the statements of the Ukrainian General Staff.
In this morning's report, the command of the Ukrainian forces speaks of continuing attacks, but the report of the Unian agency does not mention the progress of enemy units. According to her, the General Staff registered several repulsed attacks in the Bakhmut area over the last day, the number of which reportedly reached 85 along the entire front line.