Bachmut new epicenter of the war: Ukraine is apparently preparing for bloody house-to-house fighting
Created: 12/29/2022, 4:49 am
By: Stephanie Munk
Ukraine is probably assuming that a brutal house-to-house fight is imminent in the embattled city of Bakhmut.
The preparations are already underway.
Bachmut - In the city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, which has been heavily fought over for months, a bloody house-to-house war may be imminent.
As the Russian news agency Tass reports, the Ukrainian soldiers are in the process of strengthening their positions for the fight in the middle of the city.
"Ukrainian troops are actively preparing for urban warfare," the agency said, citing information from Russian intelligence.
The Ukrainian military involves civilians, including women, in digging trenches, Andrei Maroshko, an officer in the Russian-held Luhansk region, is quoted as saying.
“They were observed constructing fortifications, building forts and digging trenches.
They also set up firing positions in civilian homes.”
Russia is apparently penetrating the residential area of Bakhmut
Ukrainian soldiers in the town of Bakhmut unload supplies from a tank.
© Celestino Arce Lavin/Imago
According to information from the British secret service, Russian troops have already entered the city.
"Russian infantry is now likely to have gained a foothold in the eastern industrial areas of the city and at times advanced into the city's residential areas," the UK Ministry of Defense said.
"Street fighting continues." The Russian troops are regular military as well as mercenaries from the Wagner group.
There has been fighting over Bakhmut in the Donetsk region since June.
So far, the front line ran east of the city.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a surprise visit to Bakhmut on Tuesday and distributed medals and gifts to soldiers.
So far only a few battles in cities in the Ukraine war
Since the fighting for the cities of Lysychansk and Sievjerodonetsk in July, there have been few battles in cities during the Ukraine war, according to British officials.
Such battles required well-trained infantry.
This plays into Ukraine's hands: "This type of battle is unlikely to favor poorly trained Wagner fighters and the mobilized reservists of the Russian army," the ministry said.
The Ukrainian city of Bakhmut has now been devastated after 300 days of war in Ukraine.
© Nicolas Cleuet/Le Pictorium/Imago
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The city of Bakhmut, which used to have 70,000 inhabitants, is located in Russian-occupied Donetsk and, according to an ORF report, has now been devastated after months of fighting.
Russia has repeatedly tried to overcome the Ukrainian defenses there in order to gain access to the Donbass.
The Russian army repeatedly made breakthroughs, but never permanently.
The infrastructure is apparently completely destroyed, there is no more drinking water.
Nonetheless, civilians still lived in the city.
(smu with material from dpa)