Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Ukraine Weighs Options for Bakhmut as Russia Struggles to Maintain Pressure; Ukraine Forces Defending Bakhmut Under Increasingly Severe Pressure; Russians Try to Encircle Bakhmut, Unsuccessfully; NATO Commander in Europe: Russia's Losses in Ukraine Amount to Over 200,000 Troops, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Photo: Manu Brabo for The Wall Street Journal
Ukraine Weighs Options for Bakhmut as Russia Struggles to Maintain Pressure:
Russian forces are trying to force Ukrainian troops to withdraw from the eastern city of Bakhmut, according to Western military analysts, but are unlikely to encircle the city in the near future.
The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington, D. C.-based think tank, said Saturday night that Russian troops were “creating a tactically challenging turning movement in urban areas in northern Bakhmut.”
For months, Russian troops have pushed to take Bakhmut and taken heavy casualties in the process. Though Ukraine has given signals that its forces may soon retreat—the bridge that connects the city to the last main supply route to the town of Chasiv Yar to the west was recently destroyed—Kyiv still holds parts of the city.
The turning move, the institute said, is designed to force Ukrainian troops to retreat from their positions, not to encircle and trap them.
“The Russians may have intended to encircle Ukrainian forces in Bakhmut, but the Ukrainian command has signaled that it will likely withdraw rather than risk encirclement,” the institute wrote.
The British Ministry of Defense said Sunday on Twitter that close-quarters combat was also increasing around Bakhmut, with some Russian reservists being sent into battle with shovels as weapons.
“This is probably a result of the Russian command continuing to insist on offensive action largely consisting of dismounted infantry, with less support from artillery fire because Russia is short of munitions,” the ministry wrote.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Wagner paramilitary group that has led the assault on Bakhmut, has repeatedly complained in public over recent weeks about a lack of ammunition. --->READ MORE HERE
REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak
Britain says Ukraine forces defending Bakhmut under increasingly severe pressure: U
krainian forces defending Bakhmut are facing increasingly strong pressure from Russian forces, British military intelligence said on Saturday, with intense fighting taking place in and around the eastern city.
Ukraine is reinforcing the area with elite units, while regular Russian army and forces of the private military Wagner group have made further advances into Bakhmut's northern suburbs, the British Defence Ministry said in its daily intelligence bulletin.
The Ukraine armed forces' general staff said in a Facebook post late on Saturday that Russian troops were trying but failing to surround Bakhmut, adding defenders had repelled numerous attacks in and around the city.
The battle has raged for seven months. A Russian victory in the city, which had a pre-war population of about 70,000 and has been blasted to ruins in the onslaught, would give Moscow the first major prize in a costly winter offensive.
Oleh Zhdanov, a prominent Ukrainian analyst of military affairs, said late on Saturday that he could not detect any immediate signs Kyiv was going to order a retreat from the city.
"At the moment the situation is more or less stabilized. In terms of the advancement of Russian troops, we practically stopped (it)," he said in a YouTube interview. --->READ MORE HERE
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