Copyright © 2024 Euromaidanpress.com

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Zelenskyy: Ukraine will continue to defend Bakhmut but “not at any cost”

Situation around Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, as of 21 February 2023. Mao: Deepstate
Zelenskyy: Ukraine will continue to defend Bakhmut but “not at any cost”
In its latest Russian offensive campaign assessment, the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War suggests that Ukrainian President Zelenskyy’s remark that Ukraine will continue to defend Donetsk Oblast’s city of Bakhmut but “not at any cost” was a response to anonymous concerns about Ukraine’s ability to defend Bakhmut by allegedly US defense officials cited by the Washington Post.

Ukrainian officials continue to respond to statements made by unspecified US defense officials on the pace and prospects of the war as it approaches the one-year mark. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated on February 20 that Ukraine will continue to defend Bakhmut but “not at any cost.”

Zelenskyy and Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov also emphasized that Ukrainian troops are continuing to prepare for counteroffensives in the near term.

Zelenskyy and Reznikov’s statements are likely direct responses to unspecified US defense officials, who reportedly told the Washington Post on February 14 that the United States is concerned about Ukraine’s ability to defend Bakhmut while also pursuing counteroffensive operations.

ISW continues to assess that Ukraine’s decision to defend Bakhmut is a strategically sound effort to pin Russian forces in a discrete area of the front and attrit them, and Zelenskyy likely tempered his administration’s stance on Bakhmut to make a limited rhetorical concession to US officials.

It has long been clear that Ukraine would not continue to defend Bakhmut at the risk of seeing large numbers of Ukrainian troops encircled in the city, so Zelenskyy’s comment is not likely a real change in Kyiv’s strategy.

Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security, Defense, and Intelligence member Fedir Venislavskyi notably stated on February 19 that Russia has “all combat-ready units on the line of contact In Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, and partly in Zaporizhzhia Oblast,” reaffirming the assessment that Russia does not have a large uncommitted combat ready reserves that can be deployed and change the course of operations.

These Ukrainian statements are consistent with ISW’s assessment that Ukraine has the capacity to regain the initiative in 2023 with sufficient and timely Western backing.

Read also:

You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here


    Euromaidan Press

    We are an independent media outlet that relies solely on advertising revenue to sustain itself. We do not endorse or promote any products or services for financial gain. Therefore, we kindly ask for your support by disabling your ad blocker. Your assistance helps us continue providing quality content. Thank you!

    Related Posts