Ukrainian military leaders touted success on Sunday in Bakhmut following months of bloody combat against Russia for control of the city in the Dontesk oblast.
Serhii Cherevaty, the spokesperson for Ukraine’s Eastern Military Command, said Sunday that Ukrainian forces have managed to “stabilize the situation” around the city, which has become the site of some of the most intense fighting of the Russia-Ukraine war, according to The Kyiv Independent.
The Russian military has sought to deliver a victory in Bakhmut to counter a narrative that their invasion of Ukraine has stagnated. Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the “special military invasion” last February, but his military has struggled to make substantial progress after more than a year of fighting amid reports of low morale and other challenges faced by troops.
Russian forces have fought alongside the Wagner Group, a paramilitary unit, in Bakhmut for months in hopes of victory, but recent reports have indicated that Russian offenses have slowed in recent weeks, the latest blow to Putin as he seeks to turn the tide of the war in his favor.
Ukrainian soldiers are seen in Bakhmut on Friday. Ukraine military leaders on Sunday said their forces managed to “stabilize the situation” in the Donetsk city after months of intense combat for its control.
ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images
Both militaries continue to fight for control of the city, control of which is seen as more symbolic than strategic. However, the intensity of combat has lessened, Cherevatyi said, according to The Kyiv Independent.
“Yesterday, there were 18 assaults on the entire Bakhmut front, today there were 17. Before that, there were from 35 to 50 or more. However, this requires more detailed verification and analysis,” Cherevatyi said.
He added that Russia has recently lost more military equipment—including a tank, an amphibious assault vehicle, an infantry fighting vehicle, a self-propelled gun, two drones, a company command and observation post, and 10 field ammunition depots—while trying to take the city.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian General Valery Zaluzhny said on Friday that the front line situation in Bakhmut remains “the toughest,” but offered some optimism for Ukrainian troops.
“Due to the tremendous efforts of the Defense Forces, we are managing to stabilize the situation,” he said, according to The Moscow Times.
Russia’s Bakhmut Offensive Has Stalled, Analysts SayThe remarks from Ukrainian military authorities reflect the latest indication that Russia’s military actions in Bakhmut have slowed.
The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense said in an intelligence update on Saturday that Russian offensives in Bakhmut “has largely stalled” amid “extreme attrition of the Russian force,” noting that Russia and Ukraine have suffered high troop losses.
The update indicated that Russia has appeared to shift its focus toward nearby Avdiivka, a town south of Bakhmut.
“This suggests an overall return to a more defensive operational design after inconclusive results from its attempts to conduct a general offensive since January,” the update reads.
However, Russia’s progress in Avdiivka also appears to be slowing, according to former Russian commander Igor Girkin, who wrote in a Telegram post on Sunday that there has been “no progress in the last two days” due to “insufficient forces.”
Newsweek reached out to the Russian Ministry of Defense for comment via email. » …