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Russian Troops Fail ‘Numerous’ Bakhmut Attacks in a Day: Ukraine

Ukraine continues to thwart Russian attacks against the city of Bakhmut, according to a Facebook post from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Bakhmut has been at the front lines of the war since July 2022, and fighting intensified there over the winter months when both Ukrainian and Russian forces reached a deadlock. At the one-year anniversary of the war in February, Russian forces intensified their efforts to take the city, bolstered by mercenaries from the Wagner Group, a private military company. But Ukraine maintains that it is still deflecting Russian advances on the city.

“In the Bakhmut direction, the enemy continues storming actions of the city of Bakhmut,” the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine posted Thursday on Facebook. “However, our defenders are bravely holding the city, fighting the numerous attacks of the enemy. During the day, the invaders carried out unsuccessful offensive actions in the area of ​​Orihovo-Vasilivka Donetsk region.”

Ukrainian forces have so far resisted the Russians’ relentless aggression against Bakhmut, which has undergone constant shelling while Russia brings up reinforcements of its troops. Russia is making advances, but they are costly, with Russian troops losing soldiers at a rate of five to one Ukrainian soldier.

At the start of the year, Ukraine officials hinted at pulling troops out of Bakhmut, which would have been a sound strategic decision, according to Center for Strategic and International Studies senior adviser Mark Cancian. However, the fighting didn’t end. Russia continued to edge forward, surrounding Ukrainian troops on three sides and unleashing constant shelling and fire. Meanwhile, Ukraine has so far not decided to sacrifice the city.

Rather than attempting to pinch off a salient (territory surrounded by the enemy on multiple sides) and surround the city, Russian forces decided to attack Bakhmut at the tip of the salient, Cancian said.

Hey told Newsweek that Ukraine has an advantage as it defends Bakhmut because it is easier to fight off enemy forces from a city. “I’m surprised the Russians are doing that, in the sense that every military textbook would tell you not to do that,” he said. “Don’t attack into the city, into the enemy’s strength.”

Bakhmut has become not only a critical front line in the war but a psychological symbol as well. As Ukrainian troops continue to hold on to the city, it has come to represent Ukraine’s fighting spirit. If Russia seizes the city, that may not keep Ukraine from succeeding militarily in the long term, but it could hurt its soldiers’ spirits, as it would be the first time either side has gained significant ground in the war in months.

Despite Ukraine’s positive stance on defending Bakhmut, Cancian said he believes Russia will eventually seize the city, but at a significant price.

“The Russians are making slow progress at a very high cost,” Cancian said. “Ukraine is going to make the Russians pay for every street, and eventually Russia will run out of resources.”

Newsweek reached out by email to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press office for comment.

Ukraine continues to thwart Russian attacks against the city of Bakhmut, according to a Facebook post from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

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