Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has recently issued a warning about retreating his troops from Bakhmut in anticipation of being encumbered by Russian forces, according to Newsweek. The announcement follows an earlier March update where Ukraine was looking to “strategically pull back” from the city, according to The Hill.
Alexander Rodnyansky, the advisor to President Volodymyr Zelensky, had reportedly said that the costs of staying to fight in the city may outweigh the benefits because it is not proving to be advantageous to winning the war. He also said that it is not worth losing the lives of the troops.
Zelensky recently reiterated the importance of not losing any more soldiers, concluding that the “correct decision” will be made by generals. But Zelensky also added that while they are considering the retreat as an option, it is not yet time as Ukrainian troops are warding off numerous Russian attacks.
The battle for Bakhmut has carried on since July 2022, according to Newsweek. While fighting has become more intense as the war continued through summer and winter, both sides have reached a deadlock and Russia has recently reignited its onslaught in February.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine stated that Ukrainian troops are successfully defending the city against the attacks. Although Russia is reportedly making advances, they are losing five soldiers for every one Ukrainian soldier. An unnamed NATO official who reported the numbers suggested that Russia’s diminishing troops may give Ukraine the initiative as the Kremlin’s offensive capabilities continue to slow.
What was once a tourist attraction destination is now allegedly “in ruins” after nearly a year of fighting. Ukraine might “strategically” pull out of the city, but it remains of “strategic” importance for the Russians who already control about half of the Donetsk region.