A former military chief has said that Ukrainian forces are in a “very clever fixing operation” as they are grinding down Russian troops and Wagner Group mercenaries in Bakhmut.
Ukrainian forces are absorbing Russian resources and troops fixing them in a position preventing them from “being able to manoeuvre” to then “strike them with another force” to kill them.
Ukrainian forces in Bakhmut which is located in the Donetsk Oblast region east of the country are killing at least 100 Russians every day as they are being forced to the front by the Wagner Group.
Ex-Colonel Philip Ingram MBE said the fierce fighting and the standoff in Soledar, the Bakhmut region, is a “very clever operation” to draw in more Russians to the frontline which is “masterclass.”
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This is buying the administration in Kyiv “lots of time” whilst soldiers are being sent away for advanced training by the West on military equipment.
Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar said on Telegram that Russia continues a “high intensity of offensive” in Soledar.
Maylar said that it is a difficult time for Ukraine as the war continues to rage with Russia, but there is “no doubt” Ukraine will come out on top.
She said, “The night in Soledar was hot, battles continued.
“The enemy threw almost all the main forces in the direction of Donetsk and maintains a high intensity of offensive.
“Our fighters are bravely trying to maintain the defence.
“This is a difficult phase of the war, but we will win. There is no doubt.”
The Express reported, that Colonel Ingram said, “What I personally think could be happening is that this is a very clever fixing operation.
“What they’re doing is with their strong defenses, they are absorbing more and more Russian resources and troops sent to deal with it.
“The [Russian] troops that were freed up from Kherson in the South were pulled into it.
“They’re forced to be absorbed into this barrier, that the Ukrainians have gotten in their defenses, and they’re just stuck up against it.
“Ukrainians are using that to a attrit large proportions of the Russian troops, including the Bakhmut private military company.”
Ingram said there are “small tactical advantages” from taking Soledar or Bakhmut, but “nothing of any significance whatsoever.”
He added, “There’s nothing that would suggest that you should be putting them out of effort, and they seem to be putting into it.
“So, this is why I think they’ve become, they’ve got this emotional fix on it.”
He believes that Putin is pouring so many resources and troops into Bakhmut, as it could be down to the fear of letting go of the region.
Colonel Ingram said, “I don’t think any commander would want to turn around to Putin and say, we have failed to take the town of Bakhmut, given the cost that has been in lives, and equipment, and what they’ve achieved so far, so they’ve allowed emotions to take over.”
He also said the fight in Bakhmut is “buying lots of time” for Ukrainian forces as they will need to be sent away to be trained on the Finnish Leopard 2 tanks and British Challenger 2 tanks which could be sent to the frontline.
He added, “They need to create that space they need to fix troops where they can withdraw others who are experienced so they can send them off to learn how to use the new pieces of equipment so that can then be integrated into their future operations.”