The Ukrainian army has great difficulty with the heavy Russian offensive against Bachmut. Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, commander of the army, called the situation in and around the besieged city “extremely tense”. According to President Zelensky, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stop the offensive.
The Russian army is trying to surround the city in the Donetsk region. Russian forces, including the notorious Wagner mercenary group, have recently stepped up the bloody battle for the months-besieged place. There is also heavy fighting in surrounding villages and there are many casualties.
“Despite heavy losses, the enemy has deployed the best trained units of the Wagner group. They are trying to break through the defense lines and surround the city,” Colonel Syrskyi said on Telegram. According to President Zelensky, Russia is deploying more and more soldiers to conquer Bachmut.
There are conflicting reports about how much territory the Russians have conquered. On the one hand, Russian sources report a breakthrough in the north and northwest of the city. But other sources state that the Russian armed forces are exhausting themselves without significant territorial gains, writes think tank Institute for the Study of War.
In any case, the alarming reports from the Ukrainian armed forces indicate that the situation is dire from Ukraine’s perspective.
A journalist from Radio Free Europe was recently in Bachmoet and filmed how the Ukrainians fight against the Russians:
In addition to Bachmut itself, six nearby settlements in Donetsk have also been targeted by Russian shelling, the Ukrainian army has reported. “The enemy is constantly destroying everything that can be used to protect our fortification and defense positions. Our soldiers defending the area around Bachmut are true heroes,” says Zelensky.
The area surrounding Bachmut is one of the last urban areas of Donetsk not yet under Russian control. The Kremlin illegally annexed the region after a mock referendum. Before the war, about 70,000 people lived in Bachmoet.
The city is now almost completely in ruins, as can be seen on these aerial images:
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