Following an intense Russian offensive, Ukraine is seriously considering retreating from the strategically important city of Bakhmut
in the disputed Donetsk People's Republic.
This is according to Alexander Rodnyansky, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who said in an interview with CNN
that the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the city have not yet pulled out, but the country's top brass are considering if the cost of holding Bakhmut "outweighs the benefits."
But when talking about a potential retreat from Bakhmut, known by the Russians as Artyomovsk, Rodnyansky refuses to call the situation a defeat and instead referred to it as a "strategic pull back." (Related: German intelligence agency: Ukraine losing HUNDREDS of soldiers daily… the situation is not sustainable
"Our military is obviously going to weigh all of the options," said Rodnyansky. "So far they've held the city, but if need be, they will strategically pull back because we're not going to sacrifice all of our people just for nothing."
This sentiment is shared by many other top Ukrainian officials
. Serhiy Rakhmanin, a member of the Verkhovna Rada (parliament), said: "I believe that, sooner or later, we will probably have to leave Bakhmut. There is no sense in holding it at any cost."
Even Zelensky has admitted that his country could lose the fight in Bakhmut, stating that he would not hold onto Bakhmut at any cost, and that the city was the "most difficult" posting for the country's soldiers.
"The intensity of fighting is only increasing."
The Battle for Bakhmut has entered its seventh month as of March 1. Kyiv considers the city extremely valuable as a gateway to a large swathe of the disputed Donbas region.
Fighting in the city intensified after the Russian Armed Forces mobilized some 300,000 soldiers
for a renewed offensive into the Donbas earlier this year. The Ukrainian military's own reports of the situation in the city note that "the enemy continues to advance
Despite Rodnyansky and the Ukrainian army attempting to downplay the situation in Bakhmut, reports coming out of this exceptionally deadly and protracted engagement note that the current frontline in the city has turned into a "meat grinder" where Ukrainian soldiers survive for an average of four hours
This is according to Troy Offenbecker, a retired member of the United States Marine Corps who has volunteered to fight alongside Ukrainian forces. His comments strongly suggest that the situation may be getting worse for Ukrainian soldiers.
"It's been pretty bad on the ground. A lot of casualties. The life expectancy is around four hours on the frontline," he said, adding that the Russian attack on the city is not letting up and had turned into a "meat grinder."
"[Artillery] is nonstop," said Offenbecker. "[The Russians] have maybe run into a shortage of shells lately, but the past couple of weeks, it's been nonstop. All day and night."
Kyiv still intent on launching counteroffensive
Kyiv is still intent on launching a counteroffensive despite the dire situation, with Rodnyansky, Zelensky and other officials claiming that this coming counterattack is just "around the corner."
Rodnyansky used the deaths of thousands of Ukranian servicemembers in Bakhmut to point out that the country needs more military aid shipments, and Western weaponry already sent out is arriving far too late to make a difference.
"That was the whole tragedy about it," he said in his CNN
interview. "We could have started training our troops, preparing our troops, equipping them, sending them to Germany months ago in order to prepare. But now, we're facing this lag and Russia is trying to exploit that time lag for its own benefit."
Still, Rodnyansky did concede that the tanks, ammunition and artillery systems the West has already committed to providing will help Ukraine in the coming months.
Learn more about the current situation in Ukraine at UkraineWitness.com
Watch this short clip from "No Comment" showing the devastation the fighting has caused on the city of Bakhmut
, which before the war had a population of over 75,000.
This video is from the channel The Prisoner on Brighteon.com.
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