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"Nothing but a meat grinder": US officials insist on a change in tactics in the Ukraine war


For months, Russia and Ukraine have been fighting bloody battles in the eastern city of Bakhmut. Now the US is apparently pushing for a change of tactics.

For months, Russia and Ukraine have been fighting bloody battles in the eastern city of Bakhmut.

Now the US is apparently pushing for a change of tactics.

Munich/Kyiv - In the Ukraine war, the eastern city of Bakhmut has been the focus of the Russian army for months.

Despite heavy losses on the Russian side, Putin's soldiers continue to try bitterly to take the city, while the defense of Bakhmut has become a symbol of the Ukrainian resistance and therefore all the more significant for Ukraine.

But now US and Western officials are apparently pushing for a change of tactics and are advising Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to shift the focus of the fighting to a new area in the country.

The officials would therefore advocate a change in focus to an offensive in the south in the Ukraine war, instead of continuing to fight bloody battles with Russia in eastern Bakhmut.

Officials from the USA and Ukraine told the US broadcaster


that a different fighting style could be used for the possible offensive in the south, which makes tactical use of the billions of dollars of new equipment.

Bachmut badly damaged after months of fighting

For almost six months now, Russia and Ukraine have been fighting over Bakhmut in Donbass.

Experts have long puzzled over why Russia is so obsessed with capturing the city, despite heavy losses.

US circles recently said that Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin, who plays a crucial role in the offensive with his large number of mercenaries, is primarily interested in the local salt and gypsum mines.

Prigozhin also recently commented personally on Telegram and justified his obsession mainly with the extensive tunnel systems under the city.


Buildings and houses in Bakhmut damaged by shelling.

© Libkos/dpa

"It's a brutal and grueling fight," CNN


a senior Western intelligence official as saying about the battle in Bakhmut last week.

Between 100 and 400 meters of land would be exchanged back and forth between the two warring sides every day, and several thousand artillery shells would be fired almost every day.

That now makes Bachmut less attractive.

"(Bachmut) is less attractive militarily in terms of infrastructure than it might have been had it not been so destroyed," the official is quoted as saying.

Ukrainian cities beyond Putin's reach

Der Schwerpunkt soll deshalb der USA zufolge im Frühjahr verlagert werden. Der stellvertretende nationale Sicherheitsberater Jon Finer, die stellvertretende Außenministerin Wendy Sherman und der Unterstaatssekretär für Verteidigungspolitik Colin Kahl reisten letzte Woche nach Kiew, um mit Selenskyj eine mögliche taktische Änderung im Krieg zu besprechen. Statt weiterhin Kräfte in Bachmut aufzuzerren, solle sich die USA auf einen mechanisierten Manöverkrieg konzentrieren, bei dem „schnelle, unvorhergesehene Bewegungen“ gegen Russland eingesetzt werden. Dies hätten mit dem Gespräch vertraute Quellen gegenüber CNN gesagt.

After the successful defense of, for example, the second largest city of Kharkiv, major Ukrainian cities, especially the capital Kyiv, are currently out of Putin's reach.

It is therefore more likely that the Russian president will focus on capturing more areas in the Zaporizhia region and Donbass, using Bakhmut as a stepping stone in the latter.


Russia is said to have paid a high price in blood in the battle for Bakhmut.

© picture alliance/dpa/LIBKOS/AP

“What we have already seen is nothing more than a meat grinder”

Zaporizhia in southern Ukraine is important to Putin because it allows Russia to maintain its “land bridge” from Russia's Rostov region to Russia's Crimea peninsula.

As the British Ministry of Defense reported in its regular intelligence report earlier this month, a major Ukrainian military success in Zaporizhia would "seriously call into question the viability of the Russian 'land bridge' between Russia's Rostov region and Crimea".

The US and its allies, meanwhile, doubt Russia's ability to launch a serious offensive.

"I very much doubt that Russia's ability to effectively mobilize, man, train and equip will be anything different than what we have already seen," a Western intelligence official told



"And what we have already seen is nothing more than a meat grinder".


Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-01-25

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