The strategic city of Bakhmut has officially fallen. It has been captured completely by the Wagner para-military group that is part of the Russian forces, the Russian alliance. They are the tip of the spear of Russian forces. The capture has been confirmed by the head of Wagner, and confirmed as well by President Vladimir Putin! There are wider reports that Ukrainian troops are retreating en masse away from the city.
– Bakhmut has become a highly contested region in the Ukrainian conflict, with Russian forces gaining the upper hand.
– Russian strategy focuses on a slow and methodical approach, gradually wearing down and depleting Ukrainian forces.
– Western commentators are increasingly admitting that Ukraine is unlikely to win the war, and Russia will ultimately decide the outcome.
Bakhmut was probably the most contested region or town in the whole of the Ukrainian conflict thus far. The conflict lasted 224 days, and during that time, Zelensky spent a massive amount of military resources to hold the city, including a lot of Ukrainian soldiers, to no avail. Prigozhin has outlined how Wagner is now in a position to remain in the city and fortify defense lines, rebuild infrastructure, and establish a solid base for the arrival of the Russian army, which is expected to be redeployed to the area shortly.
Interestingly, Prigozhin noted as well that the fall of Bakhmut occurred exactly one year after the fall of Mariupol. Russian forces see a pattern here, and it is a pattern of victory. From a Western vantage point, it’s a very slow, methodical, and patient victory in contrast to the US military’s reliance on shock and awe tactics. Russians aren’t primarily interested in shock and awe. They don’t think it works, and of course, they point to Afghanistan as the model failure of that strategy.
They prefer the Klausivitzian model of a long, protracted grind that slowly but surely completely depletes, devastates, and destroys the entire military structure of the enemy combatant. And that’s exactly what we have been seeing the Russians doing in Ukraine, with the fall of Bakhmut being the latest exemplar in that long, protracted grind that is annihilating the Ukrainian army.
Bakhmut is an extremely geographically strategic city. Having captured the city, Russian forces gain the strategic advantage of freedom to maneuver. They now can move westwards, having broken through Ukrainian resistance, and expand their conquered territory throughout the region. They are already beginning to make moves on two key areas in the region.
Even now, they are descending on the city of Ivaniske as well as the town of Khromove. The map shows a cauldron forming around the wider area where Russian forces are to the north and south and form a gaping jaw that’s ready to close in on the whole of the area. That is the first and most obvious implication of the capture. Russia will be able to continue to consolidate more territory going westward.
The second implication is that Ukrainian forces are going to have to do something here. If there is no major counter-offensive in the next few weeks, I don’t know how much of Ukraine will be left. There is a counter-offensive coming. The weather has interrupted or interfered with the launch of the counter-offensive, but in the end, it’s likely not going to be able to do much other than further deplete Ukraine’s depleting resources.
The Russian aim in all of this is to ultimately wear down Ukrainian forces and grind them, slowly but inevitably, into oblivion. It looks like no matter what NATO forces do to prop up Ukrainian forces, this strategy looks poised to inevitably succeed.
The third implication in all of this is the capture of Bakhmut proves that the legacy media together with the military-industrial complex have been out and out lying to us this entire time about Ukraine. They refuse to acknowledge the fact that the Ukrainians have been getting crushed and are getting annihilated. Russia is winning, and NATO is engaged in a fool’s errand in deliberately provoking and escalating this conflict. It’s Vietnam all over again. They are claiming that everything is going well and that Zelensky is a hero and he’s using those hundreds of billions of dollars righteously and wisely. We are told that if you think anything else you’re just an agent of Putin.
Russian forces are now in a position to redirect their attention to stabilizing the flanks and reinforcing their positions to prevent any potential counteroffensives by Ukrainian forces. The focus will be on maintaining a defensive posture in these areas while simultaneously preparing for possible future engagements.
In addition to consolidating their control over Bakhmut, Russian forces will likely push westwards towards Ivano-Frankivsk, aiming to extend their territorial gains. This expansion represents a significant challenge for Ukrainian forces as they strive to prevent further advances by the Russian military.
The situation on the Eastern Front is poised to become more intense in the coming days and weeks. Ukrainian forces, having lost Bakhmut after a prolonged struggle, will seek to regain a sense of victory and counteract the significant gains made by Wagner PMC. The outcome of the conflict will depend on the available forces on both sides, as well as the geographical terrain.
Currently, the Russian forces deployed in the region include the Third Motorized Brigade, the 72nd Motorized Brigade, the 106th Air Assault Division, three Wagner PMC groups, and the 6th Cossack Motorized Regiment, along with the 137th Air Assault Regiment. The estimated troop strength ranges between 230,000 to 250,000 soldiers, accounting for any potential losses.
On the Ukrainian side, approximately 40,000 to 50,000 troops, including the 113th Defense Brigade and several other brigades, are stationed in the area. While the forces appear to be roughly equal in size, the composition differs. Russian forces rely more on infantry units, including motorized and air assault divisions, while Ukrainian forces are spread across various positions, including Bakhmut and Ivano-Frankivsk, and are likely to employ a mix of infantry and artillery brigades.
The weather conditions, particularly the predicted rain and thunderstorms from Sunday to Saturday, may temporarily affect military operations. Armored vehicles may face challenges in maneuvering through the muddy terrain, potentially leading to an operational pause on both sides. This pause could provide an opportunity for the forces to reassess their strategies and fortify their positions before resuming the conflict.
The Ukrainian offensive has been delayed due to unfavorable weather conditions, as launching an assault under such circumstances would be ineffective and risky. The open fields northwest of Chystyakove pose a considerable obstacle, making it challenging for Ukrainian forces to advance without proper conditions and preparedness. As a result, they may choose to hold their current positions strategically.
Slowly but surely, more Western commentators are admitting that Ukraine is NOT going to win this war. Perhaps it was the leaked Pentagon documents that appeared online a few weeks ago that confirmed that Ukrainian casualties far outnumbered Russian casualties 7 to 1. More pundits recognize that Russian forces are going to decide this war. Russia is going to make the decision when this ends and how it ends, and there is very little that Zelensky or NATO can do about that. Ironically, that was admitted months ago at a congressional hearing where a Pentagon spokesperson admitted that, as far as the Russians were concerned, they were achieving all of their objectives in Ukraine. US intelligence sources confirmed that Russia, far from how they’re depicted in the US and British media, is achieving all of its goals. There’s nothing Ukraine or NATO can ultimately do about it.
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