Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has said on Wednesday that the Russian offensive is in full swing.
The Russians are quickly exhausting their offensive capabilities due to the Ukrainian forces holding the city of Bakhmut, Donetsk region, which remains a “Ukrainian fortress.”
Reznikov told Polish newspaper Wyborcza in an interview, “Their [Russians] losses are insane.
“According to our military estimates, only in Bakhmut direction, the Russians lose an average of 500 people killed or wounded per day.
“This means that they are quickly exhausting their offensive capabilities there. Hence the principled decision of our command: to hold Bakhmut, despite their own losses.
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“Since its defense limits the possibilities of the Russians and gives us stability along the entire frontline. Will the occupiers be able to intensify their attacks? Let’s see. They need success,”
In response of what some experts have said about the inexpediency of defending Bakhmut, he said, “the city and the hills that are next to it are a convenient territory for defense.”
He added, “If we got out of it, it would mean the need to defend ourselves in another place where there is no such convenient form of terrain.”
Reznikov said Russia has marked a narrow section of the frontline in Donbas, where they have concentrated their efforts, in particular the well-trained Wagner fighters who are being used “like cannon fodder.”
He said, “I believe that the offensive is in full swing – only their plan was to break through the front in the Bakhmut area and attack with full-scale forces of aviation, artillery and armored vehicles in order to occupy the entire Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
“For them, this is important from a political point of view. They wanted to show that at least one of the goals announced by Putin at the beginning of the invasion had been achieved, but this did not happen, and Bakhmut remains our fortress.”
He said that due to the supply of weapons from the West, Ukraine already has sufficient artillery potential.
He added, “We call it the ‘artillery zoo’ because the systems are from different countries, including the efficient Polish Krab self-propelled howitzers.”