21 May 2023
It has taken months of fighting, huge amounts of military resources and the lives of tens of thousands of its soldiers for the self-proclaimed world’s second-most powerful army to take a small coal mining town of no strategic value.
Even as Ukrainian fighters remain in Bakhmut, for all intents and purposes the city is now effectively controlled by Russia.
There has been an inevitability about its capture by Wagner and Russian regular forces for weeks.
I last managed to get inside the city at the end of January and the situation then was desperate.
Ukraine’s defence of it has been hanging by a thread for a long time.
It’s estimated that for the last few weeks, it only controlled a few buildings – less than five per cent.
This is a significant moment in this war, but not for the reason that Moscow will present.
Yes, it has won but this massive battle is only really a small victory.
It’s taken months of fighting, huge amounts of material and the lives of tens of thousands of its soldiers to take a minor Ukrainian city.
Read that sentence again, and then reflect on the fact that when Vladimir Putin’s forces invaded, they intended to take the capital Kyiv; and it puts it all into perspective.
The self-proclaimed world’s second-most powerful army has really struggled to accomplish its mission.
Bakhmut is not of no strategic value, but its worth as a conquest is limited – in that context, its capture for Russia is a pyrrhic victory.
The fall of the small coal mining town is though undoubtedly a blow to Ukraine – it has poured a huge amount of resources into its defence.
Ukrainian forces will console themselves that they did effectively turn it into a “kill box” causing a significant drain on Russia’s war machine.
But for all the fanfare from the Wagner paramilitary group, the capture of Bakhmut is unlikely to be a turning point in this war – it will almost certainly not be decisive.
The focus now will turn to Ukraine’s looming counter-offensive.
Its success or failure is far more likely to have an effect on how this terrible conflict eventually ends.
Who had thought in January, when news reports constantly mentioned hard fighting and high casualties, for weeks before, that it would take until the end of May before 99% of the little city would be occupied by the roaches? Honestly, I did’nt expect that. I thought by February or March at the latest. The scope of the success of the AFU and the failures of the mafia army becomes more clear when you read the following:
“It’s taken months of fighting, huge amounts of material and the lives of tens of thousands of its soldiers to take a minor Ukrainian city.
“Read that sentence again, and then reflect on the fact that when Vladimir Putin’s forces invaded, they intended to take the capital Kyiv; and it puts it all into perspective.”
Just think about it for a short moment. The battle for a town with 70,000 people lasted from August 1st, 2022 until May 21st, 2023. Ten months! With tens of thousands of dead roaches and who-knows how much material! Kyiv would be completely impossible for the mafia army to conquer, even with every possible morsel of mafia asset being involved.
Bakhmut will go down as one of history’s worst Pyrrhic victories! Congratulations, Putler, the “greatest strategist”.
It will be even more pyrrhic if Ukraine surround it and force the orcs to retreat.
If they get surrounded, I hope they won’t get a chance to retreat. They must get either captured or killed.
To think Ukraine liberated Kharkiv Oblast and Kherson in a fraction of the time it took the orcs to destroy Bakhmut, shows who is the second best army in Ukraine, and Ukraine didn’t use any of it’s reserve forces, or new equipment in defending Bakhmut.
That’s a big point you pointed out. Indeed, Ukraine has kept its offensive troops and best Western weaponry out of the city during the whole time.