Ukraine Accuses Russian Forces of Using “scorched Earth” Tactics in the Battle for Bakhmut

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The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said on Sunday that the most intense fighting was along the western approach to Bahmut. The Russians were also attacking the town of Avdiivka, he said.

On Monday, the commander of the ground forces, Colonel General Oleksandr Sîrski, said that the defense of Bahmut continued.

“The situation is difficult, but controllable,” he said.

Moscow is sending special forces and airborne assault units to help them in the attack because members of Russia’s Wagner private mercenary group are now exhausted, Sîrski said. The Wagner mercenaries spearheaded the Russian assault on Bahmut, which left it largely in ruins.

“The enemy has switched to the so-called scorched earth tactics in Syria. Destroy buildings and positions with airstrikes and artillery fire,” said Sârski.

Reuters could not verify reports from the battlefield.

Ukraine’s General Staff said Russian forces had made unsuccessful advances in areas west of Bahmut and that at least 10 towns and villages had come under Russian shelling. The Russians have also made no progress in attacking Avdiivka, he said.

Western analysts say both sides have lost large numbers of troops in the battle for Bahmut, a regional transportation and logistics hub before the war.

Control of Bahmut could allow Russia to directly target Ukrainian defense lines in Chiasiv Yar in the east and open the way for its forces to advance on two larger cities in the Donetsk region – Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.

While Ukraine has said it wants to inflict as many casualties as possible on Russian forces as it prepares its own counteroffensive, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy admitted last week that if troops risked being encircled, they could be withdrawn.

Ukrainian military analyst Oleg Zhdanov said Russian forces control the center of Bahmut, with much of their assault now focused on the train station.

“There is heavy fighting in the center of the city, and the enemy is gradually moving towards the western outskirts,” Zhdanov said.

Britain’s Ministry of Defense said that over the past seven days, Russia also appears to have stepped up its armored attacks around the town of Marinka, also in Donetsk province.

Source : WeeklyBlitz