According to the President, the road links with the city junctions of Kramatorsk and Slavyansk put these cities in line under the sight of the invaders, if Russia manages to take Bakhmut under control.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, in today’s interview with American journalist Wolf Blitzer, spoke about the reasons for the decision to hold the defense of Bakhmut and the disastrous consequences for the cities of eastern Ukraine, in case of loss of control over the city.
Zelensky calls the unanimity of opinion of the military leadership of Kyiv on the continuation of the defense of the city after several weeks of attacks by Russian troops left the besieged city on the verge of falling before the forces of the occupying forces.
“We understand that after Bakhmut, Russian troops will be able to go further and will have an open road to capture key cities in eastern Ukraine. They could go to Kramatorsk, they could go to Slavyansk, this would be an open road for Russians after Bakhmut to other cities Ukraine in the Donetsk direction,” the head of state answered the question about the strategic importance of holding the Armed Forces of Ukraine for the defense of Bakhmut.
Despite the devastating assault on the city by Wagner PMCs, which destroyed its infrastructure and forced thousands of people to leave the city, Ukrainian troops have a different motivation from the goals of Russia, which hopes to win a small victory at any cost in order to “mobilize their society to create an impression that the Russian army is so powerful.”
Map of the battles for Bakhmut for March 6 from ISW
The President of Ukraine explained to the journalist that despite Bakhmut’s low strategic value, its road links to Kramatorsk and Slovyansk – two densely populated industrial urban hubs in the northwest – meant those cities would be next in Russia’s sights if Russian troops could take control of the city. .
Asked by Blitzer that some commanders were rumored to be questioning the wisdom of keeping Bakhmut amid the rising toll, Zelenskiy replied that he “never heard anything like that” from his commanders.
“We must think first of all about our people, and no one should be surrounded. The military sees the situation there, and despite the fact that Russia destroyed almost the entire city, our military has helped and is helping civilians to leave the city,” the Ukrainian leader stressed. .
Recall that on March 2, the head of the Ministry of Reintegration, Irina Vereshchuk, reported that there were still about 5,000 civilians in Bakhmut, including several dozen children. Since the evacuation of children from a war zone is a complex issue, she suggested the possibility of “coercion”.
On March 6, Bild considered radically different views on the situation in Bakhmut between Zelensky and Zaluzhny.
On the same day, at a meeting of the Headquarters of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, General of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Zaluzhny and Commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Syrsky supported the continuation of the defense of Bakhmut.
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