For ten months, Russian forces have been attempting to gain access to Bakhmut, a city of 70,000, which they see as a gateway to attacking other cities. The city lies on a crucial supply route, and Ukraine has pledged to defend it.
Ukrainian Forces Hold the Line
Despite threats from the head of Russia’s mercenary Wagner Group to withdraw troops from the city unless Moscow sends more ammunition, Ukrainian forces have held the line. The “road of life,” a vital road between Bakhmut and the nearby town of Chasiv Yar, remains under Ukrainian control, with Ukrainian spokesperson Serhiy Cherevatyi stating that the defense forces “have not allowed the Russians to ‘cut off’ our logistics.”
Ukraine’s top military command reports that its forces have repelled 58 Russian attacks over the past day along the frontline stretching from Bakhmut through Avdiivka to Maryinka. The military is planning a counteroffensive, and if Bakhmut falls, Chasiv Yar will likely be the next target. However, the town is on higher ground, and Ukrainian forces are believed to have built defensive fortifications nearby.
Russian Mercenary Leader Threatens Withdrawal
Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of Russia’s Wagner Group, has threatened to withdraw troops from Bakhmut unless his forces receive more ammunition. Prigozhin claimed that his troops had advanced 100 to 150 meters into the city, leaving just under 3 square km in Ukrainian hands, but he also admitted to losing 94 troops. He accused the regular armed forces of not providing enough ammunition and told Russian military blogger Semyon Pegov that “Russia is on the brink of a disaster.”
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