The so far largest battle of the 21st century ended today.
Bakhmut has fallen. Artyomovsk (the Russian/Soviet name of the city) has been liberated. This was announced today by the titular leader of the Wagner forces, Yevgeny Prigozhin, in a video posted on Telegram.
Why the Ukrainian leadership had decided to hold onto the city even months after the situation there was already in its disfavor is beyond me. The fight was decided by the numerical superiority of Russian artillery fire and the Ukraine had never a chance to top that.
The losses there for the Ukrainians amounted to 300 to 500 men per day over that last 5 months. That sums up to a total of 60,000 casualties. Ten days ago Ukrainian units, including the fascist Azov brigade, rolled up the Russian flanks north and south of Bakhmut to allow the Ukrainian troops in the city to flee west. That attack alone, only one or 2 kilometer deep, cost them some 1,600+ men and some 50+ armored vehicles.
On the Russian side the fighting in the city was largely done by Wagner troops. But they were never able to do it on their own. Russian military intelligence, artillery and logistics all played an important role in the fight.
The city has been destroyed but it will continued to exist as it is an important logistical hub with several rail and road connections running through it.
Mariupol, which fell/was liberated a year ago, is already being rebuild. In a month or two, when the frontline has moved away from Artyomovsk, rebuilding will start there too.
For a moment now the front line in Ukraine seems all around relative quit.
It is not clear to me when or where a new operational move will start.
Posted by b on May 20, 2023 at 13:32 UTC