Ukrainian soldiers fire a Pion howitzer at Russian positions near Bakhmut, December 16, 2022.
Kyiv – The defenders of Bakhmut are experiencing a shortage of ammunition, due to constant shelling they have many wounded in their ranks and recently an unknown viral infection has also been spreading among them. But the supply of troops is working and the Ukrainian forces are managing to hold their positions so far. One of the defenders of the city, a former Ukrainian MP and now a grenadier Yuriy Syrotyuk, told the BBC News server that it would be premature to talk about the encirclement of the city and its inevitable fall into the hands of the Russian army.
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It is not in his power to assess the overall operational situation in the city, but in the southern sector, where he operates, Ukrainian forces are holding their ground, Syroťuk also stated. “The situation is now stabilized in our sector. I am referring to the southern flank of Bachmut. The situation here is calm in the sense that there are constant attacks and shelling, but we are holding our positions,” said the grenadier.
The Russian army has been trying to get Bakhmut in the Ukrainian Donbass for several months. Mykhailo Podoljak, an adviser to the head of the Ukrainian presidential office, called the fighting there the bloodiest episode of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in January. The leadership of Ukraine and the Ukrainian army do not want to give up Bakhmut yet, but Ukrainian army officials state that they will not try to keep the city at all costs, the BBC News server pointed out.
The viral infection that afflicts the Ukrainian soldiers, according to the estimates of the grenadier from Bakhmut, is even more pressing on the Russians, who are advancing on the city through the muddy ground. “We have prepared our positions in the city well. We have leg warmers, the ability to feel somewhat normal. While the enemies are moving and falling in the mud. If half of our people have a fever and a cough, I don't even want to imagine how it's with them,” he explained.
The supply, he says, is working satisfactorily – hot food is brought from the rear to the Bakhmut defenders, the wounded are taken away, and soldiers are taken to nearby villages to wash up from time to time. The rotation of the defenders of the city also works.
According to Syroťuk's estimates, the Ukrainians defending Bakhmut have three times less losses than the Russians. According to him, the balance would have been even more favorable for the Ukrainian side if it had not faced a shortage of ammunition. fire 30 per day. We save every shell,” described the grenadier. According to him, other ammunition is also in short supply. “They even put five mines a day on the mortar,” he said. According to him, the supply of ammunition for weapons delivered from the West has become problematic.
However, the ex-ambassador considers fighting morale to be decisive. “The war will not be won by (German tanks) leopards, but by motivated people. The main task is to maintain the high motivation of the army and the support of society,” he concluded.