Friday, May 19, 2023

‘Bakhmut Trap’: UKRainian Advances Vindicate Defense of Besieged City; UKR Troops Gird for Counteroffensive They Hope Will End War; UKR Forces Advance On Bakhmut Flanks Despite RUssia's 'fierce resistance'; UKR Hails Gains in Bakhmut, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Serhii Nuzhnenko/Radio Free Europe/REUTERS
WSJ: ‘Bakhmut Trap’: Ukrainian Advances Vindicate Defense of Besieged City:
Kyiv drains Russian troops by doggedly defending Bakhmut in 10-month battle of attrition
KYIV, Ukraine—For months, Ukrainian troops in the eastern city of Bakhmut have been on the defensive, hunkering in basements and inching backward in the face of withering artillery fire and waves of infantry assaults.
Last week, Ukraine launched surprise counterattacks that regained several square miles of land on the western outskirts of the city, easing Russia’s chokehold on critical supply routes.
Russian forces have hit back hard, retaining control of the vast majority of Bakhmut, which has been all but leveled by months of fighting.
But Ukrainian commanders say the recent advances are proof that their strategy—to hold on to the city for as long as possible—is paying off. The goal, they say, has been to engage and exhaust the Russian forces as Ukraine prepares for its own offensive elsewhere. Ukraine’s deputy defense minister said Monday that the Russians had sent additional units to the city’s outskirts following the Ukrainian gains.
“We lured the enemy into a Bakhmut trap,” said Col. Serhiy Cherevatiy, a spokesman for Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine. “The enemy has lost an incredible amount of manpower. We’re continuing to bleed the enemy.”
Kyiv has in days reclaimed territory that it took Russian troops weeks of slogging through mud to seize. Those gains came as warmer weather dried up the ground after months of snow and mud had blocked most movements.
Roman Trokhymets, a soldier in the 3rd Assault Brigade, which retook territory south of Bakhmut last week, said the landscape—thin tree lines interspersed with fields—offered little cover, making the attack difficult. He worked as a sniper, covering infantry as the brigade assaulted Russian trenches.
“It was endless shelling,” he said. He suffered a concussion several days ago as a result of explosions nearby—one of a number of injuries in his unit.
“The operation was a success, but we paid a price,” he said.
The push around Bakhmut hasn’t used any of the troops that Kyiv has been training and holding back for its planned offensive, said Col. Cherevatiy, the Ukrainian military spokesman. --->READ MORE HERE
REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo
Ukrainian troops gird for counteroffensive they hope will end war:
Ukrainian soldiers training for a counteroffensive against Russian forces said on Monday they felt ready to launch the assault which they hope will end the war.
Members of the 128th Mountain Assault Brigade practiced setting up and packing away their mortars as the sun beat down on them in fields in the southern region of Dnipropetrovsk.
Learning to do it quickly is vital to their survival. "We are getting ready for the counteroffensive, so that we can finally end this war," said a 28-year-old serviceman who goes the call sign Dykyi, or 'wild' in Ukrainian.
"We have been preparing for about a month. And before that, we’ve been preparing for it all our lives."
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said last week Ukraine needed more time to prepare for the counteroffensive, intended to take back territory captured by Russia, and has been on a brief tour on European capitals this week drumming up support.
"We are expecting the offensive. By my calculations we are all ready to fulfil our tasks. But we are nevertheless constantly perfecting our craft," said Roman Khomych, the 45-year-old commander of the unit training with mortars.
Dykyi, who first joined the army in 2015 and returned after Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022, said he was motivated by the destruction caused by the war. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

+++++Russia-Ukraine News LATEST UPDATES: (REUTERS) (AP) (NY POST) and (WSJ)+++++

++++++Military official: Ukrainian forces advance on Bakhmut flanks despite Russia's 'fierce resistance'++++

+++++Ukraine hails gains in Bakhmut as Zelenskiy wins more weapons in Europe+++++

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