Abuse by the Russians in Bakhmut, resistance of Ukrainian soldiers no illusions

Cars speed up, zigzagging between holes in the tarmac, exploding ambulances and concrete blocks of abandoned checkpoints. In the distance, on the horizon, above the shock-filled gray buildings, white columns of smoke rose into a leaden sky. The last passage to the center of Bachmut was frequently bombed. After months and months of fighting, the stricken city is now under the control of Russian troops from the north and the south. Now there is only a corridor a few kilometers wide that enters and exits the city. In the city of Donbass, which Russian troops have been attacking relentlessly since August, the heavy silence was repeatedly broken by explosions that proved fierce fighting.

On February 25, 2023, a building in the consecrated city of Bakhmout in Donetsk (Ukraine) was shelled.

fight for “fortress” What has become a symbol of Ukraine’s resistance to Russian steamrollers is at a turning point. An attempt by Russian armed forces to encircle them, backed by mercenaries from Wagner’s personal militia, has made significant progress in recent days.After swearing in December 2022 to do everything in its power to defend the city “The longer the better”, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky acknowledged late on Tuesday that the situation in the city was centered “Biggest difficulty” To the soldiers of his army: “Russia is not human at all and keeps sending people to attack our positions. The intensity of the fighting will only increase. » In the morning, Ukrainian Ground Force Commander Alexander Shirsky also stated, “The situation around Bahmut is extremely tense”.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces have not communicated about the continuation of the operation, and the next phase of the Bakhmut campaign is far from certain. Military convoys continued to move in and out of the prewar city of 70,000 residents — now only 5,000 remain, according to local authorities — while in the city center Ukrainian soldiers continued to defend neighborhoods disfigured by the fighting. In Bahmut, apart from the rare haggard civilians who seemed insensitive to the blast after months of bombing, there were unmarked military vehicles driving at full speed on the main road in the center.

Also read: Articles reserved for our subscribers In Bachmut, the brutal battle to ‘hold’ the front

“Maybe this is the end”

In a snow-covered alley on Sunday, February 26, a soldier who goes by the pseudonym “Ota” reckons the city can hold on. “One week, two weeks, a little luck”. The man was a soldier belonging to the Belarusian regiment Kastus-Kalinowski, whose soldiers are opponents of the Minsk dictator’s regime and Kremlin ally Alexander Lukashenko, under the command of the Ukrainian army. Some members of this military formation have been fighting on the Bakhmut front since last November. “This may be the end of Bakhmout, last blow otta. We need a miracle. »

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