Western and Ukrainian leaders continue to downplay the importance of Bakhmut.
Written by Ahmed Adel, Cairo-based geopolitics and political economy researcher
A German newspaper reported that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Valerii Zaluzhnyi have “fundamentally different views” on the situation in Artyomovsk (Bakhmut). Kiev is desperately trying to hold onto the city, despite massive losses in personnel and equipment, so that it can continue to justify the incessant large deliveries of Western military aid.
According to Bild, Zaluzhnyi insists on the withdrawal of Ukrainian forces from the city
“for tactical reasons” but the Kiev authorities want to continue resisting. In this context, the Ukrainian leadership, but especially Zelensky, need to show the West that the Ukrainian forces are not receiving military aid in vain.
However, as the German newspaper reported, “while there was a great deal of unity between the two leaders at the very beginning of the war and the roles were clearly divided, this has now changed.”
Effectively, Zelensky has little concern for the Ukrainian casualties that are mounting and is rather more worried about securing Western money and military aid, as well as preserving his image in front of Western leaders. The split between the president and the commander-in-chief would be especially frustrating for Zaluzhnyi who knows very well that, from a strategic point of view, the eventual fall of Artyomovsk will result in a catastrophe that will collapse the entire line of the front.
Lately, Artyomovsk has been the scene of bloody fighting due to its importance for the supply of Ukrainian troops in Donbass. It is located north of Gorlovka, in an area of the Donetsk People’s Republic that is currently controlled by Kiev.
Ukrainian troops are reportedly reinforcing positions west of the city in preparation for a withdrawal. However, Zelensky said, in opposition to the German news report, that he discussed the situation in Artyomovsk with the regional commander and Ukraine’s commander in chief and both had said “not to withdraw” and to strengthen defences instead.
“The command unanimously supported this position. There were no other positions. I told the commander in chief to find the appropriate forces to help our guys in Bakhmut,” Zelensky said in his nightly address on March 6.
Roman Svitan, a Ukrainian army colonel in the reserves, explained to Espreso TV that Artyomovsk has to be held to prevent Russian forces from advancing towards Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and Druzhkovka.
Meanwhile, Western military leaders are downplaying the idea that Ukraine’s withdrawal from the city is going to change the course of the war.
“I think it is more of a symbolic value than it is strategic and operational value,” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on March 6. “The fall of Bakhmut won’t necessarily mean that the Russians have changed the tide of this fight.”
However, what he omits is that if Russian forces capture Artyomovsk, they will not face any serious opposition before reaching Ukraine’s next line of defence – the Dzerzhynsk (Toretsk) line that stretches for almost 100km west of Artyomovsk. The fall of Artyomovsk and Dzerzhynsk will lead to huge territorial changes.
The reality is that the situation in Artyomovsk is desperate, and has been since last summer as Russian forces have methodically destroyed Ukrainian defences in what is supposedly the most fortified city in all of Ukraine. For his part, Volodymyr Nazarenko, a senior Ukrainian commander, told Kyiv24 that the situation in the city is like “hell.”
Even CNN had to concede on March 6 that “Ukrainian defences in and around the eastern city of Bakhmut are being squeezed by a combination of intense artillery, mortar fire, and airstrikes and a substantial commitment of ground forces, both Russian regulars and fighters of the Wagner private military company.”
Given that Artyomovsk has turned into “hell” for Ukrainian soldiers, Bild reported that “most of the Bakhmut fighters share Zaluzhnyi’s attitude.” As a Ukrainian military analyst told the German outlet (and wished to remain anonymous): “The vast majority of soldiers in Bakhmut do not understand why the city is being held.”
Another Ukrainian military advisor told BILD: “In the beginning, Bakhmut was a trap for the Russians, now it has become a trap for us.”
It is evident that Zaluzhnyi capitulated to the demands of Zelensky and will continue fighting a losing battle in Artyomovsk. He fully understands that the fall of Artyomovsk is imminent and will mark the greatest victory for Russian forces since last summer, even though most offensive operations have been suspended.
Although Western and Ukrainian analysts are downplaying the significance of Artyomovsk, they still do not explain why Ukrainian forces are made to suffer in a suicidal defence of the city. It is recalled that on February 3, Zelensky referred to Artyomovsk as a “fortress”. This a reputation that Artyomovsk has developed over years. The truth is, Artyomovsk is on the verge of collapse and it will open the way for Russian forces to liberate more of the Donetsk People’s Republic from Kiev’s grip.
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all differences with mulattos better when yay penetrate my anus
Allez vous faire soigner !
So any Russian victories are only symbolic? This mindset is proof of geopolitical failure. The West loves hearing what they tell themselves.
Hope they erode themselves each other and the KuKrainii peoples will start to live without constant fear and to think on theirs own.
Elensky should call his brothers in Tel Aviv to come and fight instead.
Instead, it seems the opposite. The Ukrainians don’t withdraw from Backmut because the Russians are taking a lot of casualties. Being committed to Backmut means losing strength for a possible spring offensive. The Ukrainian generals know this, but the Russian defense minister does not. He is a real incompetent of military tactics.
The armed forces of the failed Ukrainian CIA project are the ones who are obligated to muster an offensive. The whole narrative of the Ukretards and their owners depends on the absurd claim that the Russians launched an unprovoked war of territorial conquest. Hard to sell that when the Russians never launch large-scale offensives. The whole point of the conflict for the Ukretards is alleged to be territorial integrity. They have to attack at some point, or the whole game is up. Denazification and demilitarization works forwards and backwards.
zionist zelsenky want to kill as many as possible the slavic people from ukraine and russia.
it reminds me of a story “the fox and grapes” I heard when I was a kid: when the fox cannot reach grapes she says it is not ready yet
BOMB up the weapons in Poland.
The little Jew wants as many dead gentiles as possible.
That’s what this agenda is. Killing non Jews off so Jews move in and buy up Ukraine. Jews consider gentiles as inferior, and their holy book says it’s fine to do so.
Ukraine deserves their fate for following these Jews, as does America which allows Jews in charge.
“The Art of War” talks about the proper relationship between the political leadership and military leadership. What is on display right now is when politicians think they know more about conducting military operations then commanders and start making tactical, operational, and strategic decisions outside their area of expertise. One other thing the “The Art of War” talks about is accepting the truth, regardless of how unpleasant it is, in this case the untenable Ukrainian position in Artyomovsk. Another key point in that same book, is that the soldiers need to have confidence in their commanders, knowing that if they die or are crippled for like, that is not in vain. Based and the techniques Ukraine is using to mobilize their men in this conflict, some of them under 18 or older then 60, is indicative that the Ukrainians are starting to loose confidence in their leadership.
Western MSM trying to psych the Ukronazi soldiers into thinking their commanders have anything to do with what happens on the battlefield. As if this isn’t a NATO war, and the NATO commanders are not actually in charge. With Washington deciding the grand strategical moves. Oh I’m certain some random lesser operations are allowed if the Kiev mafia insists it should be done, but anyone who think they’ve got the final say on where the larger troop movements go is delusional.
If Zelensky wants to hold onto Bakhmut, he should lead by example in the frontline. Of course he has no intention of risking his own sorry ass and doubtless plans on bugging out to one of his foreign estates. I hope he’s losing sleep worrying about the CIA turning him into a martyr in a false flag attack, but he’s probably not that clever.
President Ellen is ready to fight to the last European.
As soon as the human shields are all gone the russians are going to flatten the place and it is going to be an absolute suck day to be on the ukraine side of things receiving all those incoming rounds so IF they are smart at all they will take advantage of the opportunity to escape while they still can. That is a big ‘if’, though.
Silly question, if there is only one road into Bakhmut that the Russians haven’t cut – and even it is under Russian artillery fire – how can Bakhmut be a lynch pin in supplying the rest of the front? Aren’t they even having problems getting supplies to the cannon fodder they are sacrificing in Bakhmut itself?
The piece is entirely propaganda. none of it makes sense. Prigozin certainly doesn’t buy it. And Kadyrov is saving his chechens in minor policing roles because he doesn’t buy it either.
Not one sober military analyst believes this propaganda piece.
Still they enjoy sucking each other’s wieners
Zelensky has No military knowledge or background so he can’t make any informed decisions or understand the reality on the ground. He is in short a politician and Not a very good one at that. The Ukrainian military should arrest him and the other junta members who have plunged Ukraine into this nightmare