Bakhmut falls to Russia
Bakhmut, a city in Donetsk with a key road nexus, has fallen to Russian and allied forces. This shows that Ukraine cannot win after all.
Russian troops seem to have scored a major victory in their Special Military Operation in Ukraine. They claim to have captured the city variously called Bakhmut, or Artyemosk, or Artemivsk, in the Donetsk People’s Republic. (Do not confuse with Artemivsk in the Lugansk People’s Republic, or Artyemovsk in the Krasnoyarsk region of Russia.) It was an early target of Russian forces but has taken 224 days to subdue.
Conflicting claims about Bakhmut
According to the Associated Press and Sky News, Bakhmut was the subject of conflicting claims of control all day yesterday. At first Russia claimed victory in Bakhmut, on behalf of an allied private force called Wagner. But the Ukraine defense ministry said then that fighting was continuing. However, the Russian news agency TASS said Ukrainians were admitting that the tactical situation in Bakhmut was “critical.” (TASS is a hangover from the old Soviet days; it stood for Telegrafnoye Agyenstvo Sovietskiy Soyuz – Soviet Union Wire Service.)
Eight hours later, those Ukrainian claims fell silent. The following tweet came from the Russian Foreign Office account:
The Twitter influencer War Clandestine, at about 7:00 p.m. EDT, sent this message as a reminder of how critical Bakhmut is.
It links to this article by CNN in which Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine, refused to retreat from the city. He said once the Russians capture it, they’ll have an “open road” through eastern Ukraine. CNN covered this in depth even earlier, on March 2.
Experts couldn’t even agree on how important Bakhmut is. But its location, and more important its road connections, make its capture important. Who controls the roads, controls the region.
This tweet contains a video giving some statistics of the length of the battle, and the casualties.
What happens next?
Dr. Steve Turley made two points in a video he released at 2:00 p.m. EDT. First, Bakhmut was a strategic objective, and already Russian forces are preparing to move forward through it. Second, Ukrainian forces are in a severe crisis; they could now lose everything they were trying to protect.
But third, Turley accuses the legacy media of promoting a false narrative of Russia’s operation stalling, and Russia losing everything. Of course, Russia did not hurry to capture Bakhmut. Russia never hurries a military operation. Rather than deliver a “shocking, awesome blow,” they prefer to “stew” their enemies in a “cauldron.” Which is what Russia is now doing.
The fall of Bakhmut probably puts to rest a lot of loose talk about a Ukrainian counteroffensive. Western legacy media had predicted this counteroffensive for days. Then, shockingly, Newsmax carried a story two days ago quoting an “expert” as saying Putin was preparing to detonate a nuclear device if the Ukrainians pushed him back in any such counteroffensive. Jennifer Long picked up on that story:
(Remember Jennifer Long from this story back in February.)
But now such an event is nearly impossible to imagine. Bakhmut, as Zelensky admitted, is the key to Eastern Ukraine – and now Russia has it. The West now should re-evaluate how much more blood or treasure it wants to spend on a lost cause.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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