Kyiv: The Ukrainian military pledged on Tuesday not to give up the city in eastern Ukraine Bakhmut while preparing to launch counterattack against the Russian forces.
Gen. Oleksandr Sersky, the commander of the Ukrainian Ground Forces, emphasized the importance Kyiv places on holding Bakhmut as preparations continue for a counteroffensive he hopes will change the dynamic of the war in Ukraine.
The Battle of Bakhmut has symbolic significance for both sides, as Ukraine is still holding on to some parts of the city after months of fierce fighting against regular Russian forces and fighters of Wagner’s mercenary force.
“We, along with the commanders, took a number of necessary decisions aimed at ensuring an effective defense and inflicting the greatest losses on the enemy,” Sersky said in remarks published after a visit to the fighting forces in Bakhmut.
“We will continue, despite all expectations and advice, to detain Bakhmut and destroy Wagner and other combat units of the Russian army,” he told the soldiers in a video of his visit. “We give our reserves a chance to prepare and prepare ourselves for further action.”
On Monday, Sersky said that Ukrainian units had expelled Russian forces from some positions in Bakhmut. The Wagner Group said its units had made gradual progress there. Reuters could not verify the situation on the battlefield.
Russia Bakhmut, which was once home to 70,000 people, served as a springboard for attacking other Ukrainian cities.
It is widely expected that Kiev will launch its own counter-offensive soon, hoping to recapture the territories that Russian forces occupied after the invasion in February 2022.
Russia has depleted its military stockpiles and armed forces, the White House said Monday, with nearly 100,000 Russian soldiers killed or wounded in Ukraine in the past five months.
Reuters was unable to independently verify the White House numbers.


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