Russia’s Bakhmut offensive shows signs of slowing, Kyiv, West say
Kyiv, Mar 23 (EFE).- Russia’s assault on the war-ravaged city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region is poised to slow, Kyiv’s military command claimed Thursday, echoing Western reports that Russian forces were losing momentum but could be concentrating their efforts in other directions.
The commander of Ukraine’s ground forces Oleksandr Syrskyi said the Russian mercenary Wagner Group continued to lead the Russian assault on Bakhmut, a city in the Donetsk region that for months has been the scene of the longest battle of the war triggered by Moscow’s invasion.
“They suffer significant losses, but so far have not lost their offensive potential, at the expense of human resources. The time will come when they, too, will end,” he said in a statement posted on Telegram.
His remarks come after the Institute for the Study of War, a United States think-tank, said in a daily report that Russia appeared to be “losing tempo” in Bakhmut.
“Russian forces made additional marginal advances in southern Bakhmut, and Ukrainian forces conducted counterattacks on the southwestern and northwestern outskirts of the city on March 21 and 22,” it said.
The ISW added that Ukraine’s general staff on Wednesday reported fewer clashes in Bakhmut.
“Russian forces are currently increasing the tempo of their offensive operations around Avdiivka aiming to encircle the settlement, and it is possible that Russian forces are doing so at the expense of their operations around Bakhmut and the stalled offensive around Vuhledar.”
Both US and British intelligence have pointed to a Russian slowdown in Bakhmut but warned Russia could be concentrating its efforts on other targets in the region.
Ukraine’s forces have been holding onto Bakhmut for months despite heavy losses.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited frontline troops stationed in the Bakhmut area on Wednesday. EFE