Russia’s assault on the Donbas town of Bakhmut has largely stalled, according to military analysts in the United Kingdom.
“This is likely primarily a result of extreme attrition of the Russian force,” the British Defense Ministry said Saturday, adding that Russia is likely conducting “a more defensive operational design after inconclusive results from its attempts to conduct a general offensive since January 2023” in its campaign in Ukraine.
READ MORE about the fight in Bakhmut.
The top commander of Ukraine’s military underscored that assessment, saying that his forces are repelling Russian troops in the arduous, grinding battle for the town of Bakhmut.
“The Bakhmut direction is the most difficult. Thanks to the titanic efforts of the defense forces, the situation is being stabilized,” Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi said in a Saturday post on Telegram.
The seven-month battle for Bakhmut is the longest of the war and Russian forces there have closed in on three sides, deploying both regular soldiers and fighters of the mercenary Wagner Group.
Russian forces must go through Bakhmut to advance deeper into parts of the eastern Donbas region, though Western officials say that the capture of the city would have limited impact on the course of the war.
Ukrainian troops have dug in at Bakhmut instead of pulling back. Some Western military experts said this tactic might be risky because the Ukrainians need to conserve forces for a counterattack.
According to the British ministry, however, the Russian assault in Bakhmut has “largely stalled … a result of extreme attrition of the Russian force.”
Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross says some 10,000 Ukrainian civilians, many who are older or have disabilities, were clinging on in grisly circumstances in Bakhmut and surrounding settlements.
“They are living in very dire conditions, spending almost the entire days in intense shelling in the [underground] shelters,” said Umar Khan of the ICRC, speaking to a news briefing via video link from Dnipro, Ukraine.
“All you see is people pushed to the very limits of their existence and survival and resilience.”
Reported by VOA.