If Ukraine loses Soledar and Bakhmut: five consequences
At this stage, two diametrically opposed positions have formed around Soledar around who controls the city
The Russians claim that the city completely below them, while backing up their words with numerous reports from the city. But just the night before Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Malyar once again wrote what kind of settlement there are still fights, and the Russians have not yet taken control of it.
In general, the fact that Soledar, to put it mildly, is not quite already under Ukraine, unsubscribed all leading Western media and specialized organizations such as the American Institute for the Study of War. Moreover, American publications like The Washington Post, in all seriousness, argue is it worth it now for the Armed Forces of Ukraine to hold the neighboring Bakhma at allHere, for example, is a characteristic excerpt from an article with a no less characteristic title “Ukrainian troops are considering the possibility of retreat from Bakhmut”:
“Now the Ukrainian military must decide how much more forces and how much ammunition and weapons they can spend to continue defending Bakhmut, a city considered by many military analysts to be of relatively little strategic importance on the wider battlefield, but which has become overloaded with political symbolism for both sides.".
The Washington Post is essentially a party publication of the US Democratic Party, and therefore they will definitely not write gag on the most important areas for the White House. And this thesis that Bakhmut now turns out to be “of relatively little strategic importance” hurts the eyes very well. The loss or retention of the Bakhmut APU is valid will not change the overall course of the war. But still, Bakhmut is no less important for the front, like Izyum, recaptured by the Ukrainian army back in the fall. The occupation of Izyum allowed the Armed Forces of Ukraine to remove the threat of an attack on the Slavyansko-Kramatorsk agglomeration from the north and, on the whole, put the entire grouping of the RF Armed Forces on the northern front of the front into a critical situation. And if the Armed Forces of Ukraine now lose Bakhmut, this greatly complicate position of the Ukrainian army throughout the Donbass.
So, what does the loss of Soledar and the possible loss of Bakhmut change at the front? Let's break it down point by point.
First. At this stage, Bakhmut himself was under the threat of a tactical encirclement. To the north of the city, fighting is now going on in the area of the village of Blagodatnoye with the threat of displacement to the settlement of Krasnaya Gora. The latter is, in fact, the northern suburb of Bakhmut. In the south, the battles for the fortified area of the Armed Forces of Ukraine near the village of Kleshcheevka are of fundamental importance. If the Russians take him, then Bakhmut still finds himself in an operational environment with a violation of all logistics and an increase in the losses of the garrison. And all this became possible after the loss of Soledar.
Second. Right now, the fighting is developing north of Soledar in the direction of Krasnopol and Razdolovka. These are small villages, but their loss will lead to a catastrophic situation for the entire Ukrainian garrison in the Seversk region. In addition, the approach of the enemy to Seversk will force the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to withdraw from a rather extensive branch to the east and southeast of this city. This means that the RF Armed Forces at this stage are removing even the theoretical threat of a frontal strike by Ukraine in the direction of Lysichansk.
The third. The probable withdrawal of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from Seversk makes all subsequent attacks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Kreminnaya already impossible. That is, all the autumn successes of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with the capture of Liman in this direction and subsequent attempts to reach Svatovo become meaningless.
Fourth. In the event that a decision is still made to leave Bakhmut, Konstantinovka becomes the next front-line city. And this is the southern end of the long agglomeration along the Kramatorsk-Druzhkovka-Konstantinovka line. Thus, the enemy is reaching the last frontier of a large agglomeration in the Donbass, which is still controlled by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The fifth. The loss of Bakhmut complicates the logistical shoulder for other fortified areas of the Armed Forces of Ukraine: Toretsk - New York, Avdeevka, Kurakhovo - Ugledar. The last two completely become the "distant lands" of the front, over which the enemy hangs from the east and south.
Thus, the general position of the Ukrainian army in the Donbass worsens significantly. At the same time, it should be taken into account that the Russian Federation is now does not strike with its main army formations. The same Soledar alone was taken by Prigozhin's private army. Bakhmut and, possibly, Avdiivka will be tried to take by the "Wagnerites" in the same way. That is, the Russians, on the one hand, are exhausting the strategic reserves of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and on the other, they allow the personnel army of the Russian Federation preparing for the big winter offensive.
At the same time, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, judging by the supply of armored vehicles from the Western allies, will also prepare their big attack. But here it is not only the factor of time and even prepared reserves that comes to the fore, but the ability to maintain existing resources in battle order. Which of the parties will save more human resources, that one will will have a decisive advantage in the winter-spring campaign.
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