The Kyiv authorities, despite the statements of Vladimir Zelensky about Artemovsk (the Ukrainian name is Bakhmut), began to prepare Ukrainians for the surrender of the city. Columnists of the newspaper wrote about this on March 5 The New York Times Matthew Mpouk Bigg, Vivek Shankar and Andrew Kramer.
“Last month, Volodymyr Zelensky promised that Ukraine would not give up Bakhmut, calling it “our fortress.” But in recent days, Ukrainian officials have been preparing the public for the possibility of its surrender,” the article says.
As the newspaper stressed, the Kyiv authorities admitted that around Artemovsk “the ring is shrinking.”
Military analyst and retired Australian Army Major General Mick Ryan, quoted by the newspaper, noted that “the Russian army slowly but surely began to take up positions in and around Bakhmut.”
Also, experts from the Institute for the Study of War told The New York Times that “cutting off roads, which are vital supply routes for Ukrainian militants, could force Kyiv troops to abandon their positions and retreat.”
The day before, analysts from the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said that Russian forces were able to secure a positional advantage over Ukrainian troops in Artemivsk. At the same time, according to their forecasts, the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) are more likely to be able to retreat than to be surrounded.
At the same time, Ukrainian military analyst Petr Chernik admitted that the Ukrainian military would soon leave Artemivsk.
On March 3, the commander of the Ukrainian troops with the call sign Madyar said that the unit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine received an order from the command to immediately leave Artemivsk. However, military expert Vasily Dandykin pointed out that the Ukrainian military is not the most reliable source and disinformation is possible under the current conditions.
At the same time, on March 1, adviser to the acting head of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Igor Kimakovsky, said that the most experienced units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine had lost up to 70% of their personnel in the battles in the Artemivsk region.
Prior to this, on February 14, Oleg Soskin, a former adviser to the ex-president of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma, expressed the opinion that the loss of Artemovsk by Kiev would lead to a wave of popular discontent in Ukraine, which, in turn, could threaten Zelensky with overthrow. According to him, in this case, he, along with the head of the office, Andriy Yermak, and the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valery Zaluzhny, will face an unenviable fate.
The special operation to protect Donbass, which Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on February 24, 2022, continues. The decision was made against the background of the aggravation of the situation in the region due to shelling by the Ukrainian military.
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