Moscow/Kiev (EFE).- Russian troops redoubled their attacks on Sunday against the city of Bakhmut, an important communications hub in eastern Ukraine that has been the scene of fierce fighting for several months now.
“On the Bakhmut front, the enemy continues to attack our positions,” the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported today on its Facebook page.
According to the Ukrainian command, the attempts of the Russian troops to make progress in that area were repelled.
Ukrainian troops resist
“At the moment there are no signs that the Kiev regime has begun to withdraw its fighters and salvage its depleted units,” Russian-imposed interim leader Denis Pushilin said of the situation in Bakhmut in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region. an interview with the official Russian agency TASS.
He recalled that the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelensky, declared that his Army does not intend to defend Bakhmut at “any price” and that it will do so “as long as it is reasonable.”
“The word ‘reasonable’ for the enemy can mean anything, including fighting ‘every last Ukrainian,'” Pushilin added.
Bajmut, a city practically surrounded
According to the Russian command, the Ukrainian contingent defending Bakhmut, which before the outbreak of military actions had a population of about 70,000 inhabitants, is practically surrounded, since the Russian Army controls the northern, southern and eastern approaches to the city. while the west is within range of their artillery.
This Saturday the founder of the Wagner Group mercenary company, Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, announced that his assault detachments captured the small village of Yahidne, which is located three kilometers from the center of Bakhmut.
However, this point was not confirmed in the report that the Russian Ministry of Defense offers daily.
Bakhmut (Artyomovsk, for the Russians) is located 55 kilometers northeast of the city of Donetsk and is connected by road with Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, the largest cities in the Donetsk region that are under the control of Ukrainian troops.
Gain time to prepare a counteroffensive
According to the Kiev government, the resistance offered by the Ukrainian troops in that sector of the front not only makes it possible to wear down the Russian forces, but also to prepare a counteroffensive.
The deputy head of Ukrainian military intelligence, Vadim Skibitskiy, indicated that in the European spring of this year the Ukrainian Army will be prepared to launch a counteroffensive, which will depend on many factors, including Western weapons supplies.
One of the objectives of the counteroffensive, Skibitskiy said in statements collected today by the digital Ukrainska Pravda, is to “open a gap in the Russian southern front, between Crimea and mainland Russia.”
He stressed that Ukraine will not rest until it liberates all the occupied territories, including the Crimean peninsula.
“We will stop only when we recover the country on the borders it had in 1991,” said the senior Ukrainian official.
For Ukraine, peace only after the recovery of Crimea
Zelenski reiterated today, which Ukraine remembers as the Day of Resistance to the Russian Occupation of Crimea, that peace can be restored with the return to the Ukrainians of this peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014.
“Nine years ago the Russian aggression began in the Crimea. If we take back Crimea, we will restore peace. It is our land. Our town. Our history. We will return the Ukrainian flag to all corners of Ukraine,” Zelensky wrote in a Telegram message.
On February 26, 2014, next to the headquarters of the Parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, in Simferopol, pro-Russians and pro-Ukrainians gathered in a rally that ended in clashes in which two people died and about thirty were injured.
Twenty days later, on March 18, Russia annexed the peninsula.