Gave advice to Ukraine: leave Bakhmut and prepare for a broad counterattack

Ukraine should not defend the town of Bakhmut at all costs and should instead seize the opportunity to launch a major counterattack against Russian forces, a senior US official said on Friday.

This industrial city has become the epicenter of the war raging in eastern Ukraine, with massive artillery strikes, slow progress and heavy casualties on both sides.

Bachmut has also become an important political and symbolic award, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visiting the front lines in December, just before his spectacular trip to the United States to meet the president and address Congress.

But a senior official in President Joe Biden’s administration says the focus on Bakhmut is hampering Ukraine’s larger task of preparing for a widely anticipated spring offensive aimed at making major gains against the Russian occupiers. in the south of the country.

According to the official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity and was not quoted verbatim, Bakhmut’s timing is more favorable to Russia, given its greater artillery resources and troops. available.

However, according to the official, a Russian victory here would not lead to any significant change in the war, as Ukrainian forces would fall back to well-defended positions.

Rather than wasting so many troops and ammunition on a strategically insignificant target, the United States is advising Ukraine to withdraw these forces to renew and join US-led training programs aimed at building a stronger force. sophisticated and better armed capable of launching an offensive in the south.

The official noted that counterattack weapons are pouring into Ukraine, including several hundred armored vehicles that will be needed for the mobile assault forces.

But training takes time, so Ukrainians need to consider whether to stay in Bakhmut or prepare for broader strategic action, the official said, adding that Ukrainians may not have the resources to relieve the two challenges.

Source: The Delfi

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