HomeUS News updateHas Ukraine made a mistake by refusing to retreat from Bakhmut?

Has Ukraine made a mistake by refusing to retreat from Bakhmut?

There is only one main road out of Bakhmut now under Ukrainian control, with the mining hub that was once home to some 80,000 reduced to artillery pits and muddy trenches.

But Ukrainian officials have doubled down on their strategy, insisting that the city was vital to their future operations, even as losses on both sides mount.

Ukraine’s future hinges on the outcome of ongoing fighting in Bakhmut and surrounding areas, Zelensky said this week, as he underlined his commitment to holding the city.

“The entire command had a clear position: consolidate this area and destroy the occupiers to the maximum,” he said in his nightly video address on Tuesday.

Officials in Kiev have insisted that the battle both restricted Russian advances by forcing Moscow to throw troops and equipment into Bakhmut, while allowing more time to prepare its own reserves for future Ukrainian advances. prepares the ground for

His position was given public support in Washington on Wednesday.

“Ukraine has deployed Russian forces to that city and they are inflicting very heavy costs on the Wagner Group and the Russian regular army,” General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a news briefing.

NBC News has reached out to the Ukrainian government for further comment.

Moscow, for its part, hoped that Bakhmut could open the way to capture the rest of its encirclement. The city is located in the northeastern part of Donetsk province, the half of Ukraine’s industrial Donbas heartland that has become the central target of the Kremlin’s offensive.

With this in mind, some analysts say Ukraine’s approach is understandable.

“The Ukrainian idea isn’t just to kill as many Russians as possible, but to fix their troops there so they can’t deploy them elsewhere,” said Rajan Menon, a director at the Washington think tank Defense Priorities. Bakhmut was well aware of his position and was taking calculated risks.

“The question is, can you stay on the border and inflict damage at a cost that is acceptable to the commanders in Ukraine,” Menon said, adding, “Is it essentially a destructive job?”



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