Syrskyi in Bakhmut on 3 March 2023.
In his interview with Interfax-Ukraine, Col-Gen Oleksandr Syrskyi, the Ukrainian army’s Ground Forces Commander, explained why Ukraine continues to defend the city of Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast.
Asked what the military expediency of such a long defense of Bakhmut is, he said that for several months now, Ukraine has been holding back Russia’s offensive in this area and preventing the Russians from expanding their front while inflicting significant losses on the Russian units.
The Battle of Bakhmut started months ago as Russian forces started their assault towards the city in August 2022. The months-long battle brought the Russians minor territorial gains at the cost of thousands of casualties.
Why Kyiv insists on holding Bakhmut, a city of modest strategic value – opinion
Col-Gen Syrskyi also outlined five reasons for the continued defense of Bakhmut:
- The city is an important defense node, the maintenance of which ensures the sustainability of the defense of the group of troops as a whole;
- Bakhmut is a well-located natural fortress surrounded by rivers and situated on hills, which facilitates defense;
- the Ukrainian troops defending the city of Bakhmut benefit from the presence of multi-story buildings and well-developed infrastructure on the left bank of the Bakhmutivka River, which enhances the city’s defensibility;
- urban warfare requires specific skills, which creates difficulties for Russian troops who previously used to fight in forest-steppe conditions;
- Bakhmut is part of the Kostiantynivka-Kramatorsk metropolitan area, the retention of which prevents the enemy from reaching the flank and rear of the Ukrainian troops in the Lysychansk and Donetsk sectors.
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Tags: Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast