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Canada War in Ukraine: The battle for Bachmut

23:40  30 november  2022
23:40  30 november  2022 Source:   sueddeutsche.de

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For days, Ukrainian and Russian troops have been fighting bitterly for the city in Donbass. Why Bachmut is of strategic importance for both sides.

Verwüstete Landschaften: ein ukrainischer Raketenwerfer bei Bachmut. © Libkos/dpa devastated landscapes: a Ukrainian rocket launcher at Bachmut. The battle for Bachmut

The current pictures from Bachmut are reminiscent of recordings from the First World War: soldiers who are completely covered with mud. Rifle trenches in which the water is ankle. Forests that have given way to burned tree stumps. Whole areas, plowed up to the uncertainty by the constant artillery fire. For days, such photos and videos of the brutal struggles have been circulating for the city in the east of Ukraine.

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Even if they are not all verifiable, the horror in the pictures coincides with the reports of soldiers on the front. "Before I came here, I worked in the Cherson region," says a ambulance driver in the Ukrainian newspaper Kyiv Post . "It was hard, but not so hard." Bachmut is now called "the meat grinder", says the paramedic. The losses should be extremely high on both sides.

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For months it has been fighting for the place in Donbass. But since both Russia and Ukraine moved their armed forces to this region after the Russian withdrawal from Cherson, the argument has been raging even more intensely. The fights are already compared with the battle for the cities of Sjewjerodonezk and Lyssytschansk. While they were slowly encircled, Ukrainian units fought a weekly mashed struggle with the Russian army to stop their advance. Bachmut is not yet fought in the city itself, but Russian soldiers repeatedly start storm attacks on the Ukrainian lines of defense, both sides are borne by artillery.

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Sanitäter der ukrainischen Armee in einem Rettungswagen bei Bachmut. © Anatolii Stepanov/AFP paramedic of the Ukrainian army in an ambulance near Bachmut. According to the Ukraine army,

has so far succeeded in warding off the attacks. In contrast, Russia's armed forces repeatedly report smaller terrain gains in the city's surrounding area. Some analysts want to have made recordings on which they were able to disfigure such pre -marches. A channel in the south of the city of Russian troops important for the water supply are said to have been taken and smaller breakthroughs have been achieved at various points in the front. This information is not all verified. However, the amount of reports suggests that the Ukrainian troops in the region are under extreme pressure and that the Russian army has minor successes.

Eine Brücke bei der Stadt Bachmut, vermutlich von Ukrainern zerstört, um russische Transportwege abzuschneiden. © Yevhen Titov/AFP A bridge at the city of Bachmut, probably destroyed by Ukrainians to cut off Russian transport routes.

Bachmut is of strategic importance for both sides because the city can be defended much better than the surrounding, flat country. It is feared that the Ukrainian troops may have to withdraw to Kramatorsk or even further in a Russian success in Bachmut, which would mean large terrain gains for the Russian army.

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Despite the brutal fights, at least see the experts from the Institute for the Study of War in Washington D.C. , however, no signs of a Bachmut case. Although Russia also uses mercenaries of the "Wagner Group", the Russian troops are in such a bad condition that the city and thus a conquest is not yet likely. Moscow may also be more about binding many Ukrainian troops in one place and adding losses there.

Although the heaviest battles are now taking place around Bachmut, the attacks continued in the rest of the Ukraine. From the Saporischschja region with the nuclear power plant of the same name, shelling with rockets was reported, but this time was not on the nuclear power plant. Meanwhile, Russia accuses Ukraine of a rocket attack on its territory: a power plant is said to have been hit in the Russian district of Kursk, and the electricity was partly southeast of it. So far, this report has not yet been verified.

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