Day 375: Conflict Intensifies in Bakhmut; Over 4,000 City Residents Remain
On Sunday, the battle for Bakhmut raged on, with Russian forces attempting to encircle the city, and Ukrainian military sources stating they had repelled over 130 Russian attacks. The Pro-Kremlin mercenary group Wagner said that the Bakhmut was 'practically surrounded' with only one road left for...
- On Sunday, the battle for Bakhmut raged on, with Russian forces attempting to encircle the city, and Ukrainian military sources stating they had repelled over 130 Russian attacks. The Pro-Kremlin mercenary group Wagner said that the Bakhmut was 'practically surrounded' with only one road left for Ukrainian forces to enter and exit.1
- Bakhmut's deputy mayor has reported that evacuations out of the city have slowed substantially. Oleksandr Marchenko stated to CNN that only five to 10 people were reportedly being evacuated each day, down from a previous high of 600 people per day; 4-4.5K residents are still reportedly in the city with little sentiment to leave.2
- Meanwhile, on Sunday, Russian officials criticized what they characterized as disproportionate military spending between Western nations to provide aid to Ukraine. Vyacheslav Volodin, Chairman of the Russian State Duma, said that the US support for Kiyv is only 0.37% of Gross Domestic Product, compared to what he characterized as much higher and burdensome totals incurred European nations, and that 'EU leaders are acting contrary to national interests at the expense of European citizens.'3
- This comes amidst a report by Ukraine's military that Russian reservists are entering the conflict zone armed with only 'firearms and shovels.' The report suggested that the shovel was a model designed in 1869 and is intended for use in hand-to-hand combat as a result of alleged shortages of Russian ammunition supplies.4
- On the ground, Ukrainian officials report that a woman and two children were killed by Russian mortar shelling in the village of Poniativka in Kherson. Since the exit of Russian troops in November, Kherson city has frequently been shelled by Russian positions across the Dnieper River.1
- In addition, the Russian military reported 180 Ukrainian soldiers were killed near Krasny Liman on Sunday. Kremlin officials also stated that a command post of the 'Azov' regiment was destroyed in Zaporizhzhia and that Russian air defense forces destroyed 12 Ukrainian Unarmed Ariel Vehicles.5
Sources: 1Al Jazeera, 2CNN, 3Tass, 4BBC News and 5Sputnik international.
- Pro-Russia narrative, as provided by Tass. Russian forces are continuing to capture towns on the outskirts of Bakhmut and progressing with their plans of encircling the city. Its capture is important as it will pave the way to securing the rest of the Donetsk region.
- Anti-Russia narrative, as provided by Us news . Fierce fighting has already been going on in Bakhmut for months, and even if Russia prevails, it will have lost so many men and so much equipment that the result could hardly be celebrated. A Moscow victory in the region might be a symbolic gain but would provide little strategic benefit in the wider conflict.