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Tension Rises Between Zelensky And Gen. Zaluzhnyi Over Bakhmut

There were many battles since 24th February 2022 in Ukraine that was won and lost on both sides but none were commemorated with a nickname as ‘the meat grinder’. The battle of Bakhmut is seen as one of the bloodiest battles in the Ukraine war. From September 2022 onwards, Russia has been gaining a slow advance in the city. It was reported that the Russian group Wagner reached a soviet Russian tank monument which is located 500m away from the Bakmutovka River. Fighters were seen replacing the Ukraine flag with the Wagner one.

On February 2023, President Zelensky stated that there will be no withdrawal from the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region. The former President expanded at the press conference that followed the EU summit that the ‘fight will continue as long as it will require’. Zelensky considered the city of Bakhmut to be a ‘fortress and the ones who sacrifice will be considered as the heroes of Ukraine’.

Colonel Margo Grosberg, the Chief of the Estonian Defence Intelligence Centre said that holding the lines at Bakhmut, it will allow the Ukraine forces to gain time to create new fortifications further behind. However, holding the city is only a short time solution as the Ukraine army will likely ‘withdraw from the city in the near future’.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Ukraine army, General Valery Zaluzhnyi, has a different approach to the situation that is currently being dealt with Bakhmut –

It is considered that Bakhmut has no strategic importance to the Ukraine army as much as it does to the Russian army. The withdrawal of the Ukraine troops from the city will not only minimise the loss of life in the region but will allow the strengthening of the position in the rear. It is believed that more Russian troops, including the Wagner troops, have died during the battle of Bakhmut so far than the Ukrainian soldiers. This would be hard to estimate at the current time of the war as numbers often fluctuate and some can be categorised differently.

Between Zelensky and Zaluzhnyi, tension is been seen in the two heads of power is seen rising. Zaluzhnyi disagreed with Zelensky to keep troops defending Bakhmut and recommended withdrawing the Ukraine troops from the Bakhmut front. This will help to prevent the encirclement of the city and create a similar scenario which was seen at the battle of Mariupol.

Most of the defenders of Bakhmut agreed with General Zaluzhnyi views with ‘the vast majority of the soldiers in the city do not understand why the city is being held’  

As fighting has been seen carrying on all day with shelling starting in the early morning. No progress is being made and the life expectancy in Bakhmut is considered to be just ‘four hours’.

On 3rd March 2023, Oleksii Danilov, the Secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defence Council said that the situation that is currently held in Bakhmut front is under control but being placed under a very difficult situation – Ukrainska Pravda.

A press release from the Zelensky administration office on 6th March 2023 stated that the meeting with the Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhnyi and the Commander of Ukraine’s Ground Forces Oleksandr Syrskyi agreed that a continuation of the defence of the Bakhmut should continue. - President Press Office of Ukraine. It was considered of additional equipment to be supplied and weapons to the area were considered which can soon see a change in movement in the area.

The press release does not however state anything either from Zaluzhnyi or Syrskyi said during the meeting. The statement was published after the German news outlet ‘Bild’ published information about the relationship between Zelenskyi and Zaluzhnyi.

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Tags: Russia #War #Conflict #Ukraine #Bahkmut #Zalensky #Zaluzhny


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