Zelenskyy: Ukraine sees some of the most significant results in Bakhmut since start of war.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has commented on the decision to continue defending the city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, saying that Ukraine is seeing some of the most significant results in the city since the beginning of the war.
"Bakhmut has delivered and is delivering one of the greatest results during this war, during the entire battle for Donbas. And I thank every soldier who is fighting in this most difficult area, who is fighting for all parts of our country, on all fronts" - Zelenskiy said.
Zelenskyy also spoke in detail about today’s meeting of the Staff of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, where attendees heard reports on the situation in Bakhmut. He said he had directly asked Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and Oleksandr Syrskyi, Commander of the Ground Forces and Commander of the Eastern Group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, whether the Ukrainian Armed Forces should withdraw from the city.
Both generals replied, "Do not withdraw" and instead recommended reinforcing the Ukrainian positions on the Bakhmut front. Zelenskyy said the Staff unanimously agreed with this decision. The president asked Zaluzhnyi to find reinforcements to support the defence of Bakhmut.
He added, "There is no part of Ukraine about which one can say that it can be abandoned. There is no Ukrainian trench in which the resilience and heroism of our warriors would be disregarded."
Commander of Ukraine's Ground Forces visits Bakhmut and says fighting for city reaches its peak.
Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, Commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, visited the units defending the city of Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast on 5 March and stated that the fighting for the city had reached its peak.
"The enemy has thrown Wagner Group's additional forces into battle. Our soldiers are bravely defending their positions in the north of Bakhmut, trying to prevent the encirclement of the city...
Our resistance at this bridgehead has been going on for several months. The enemy's attempts to capture the city were defeated all this time by our soldiers' steadfastness.
Our defenders inflicted significant losses on the enemy, destroyed a large amount of military equipment, forced Wagner Group's best assault units to be used in the battle and reduced the enemy's offensive potential" - Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi reported.
Ukraine conducts limited tactical withdrawal of troops from Bakhmut.
Ukrainian forces are likely conducting a limited tactical withdrawal in Bakhmut, although it is still too early to assess Ukrainian intentions concerning a complete withdrawal from the city
SW experts believe that Ukrainian forces may be withdrawing from their positions on the eastern bank of the Bakhmutka River given recent geolocated footage of the destruction of the railway bridge over the river in northeastern Bakhmut.
ISW has pointed out that geolocated footage showed that Wagner Group forces continued to make advances in northeastern Bakhmut and advanced near the Stupky railway station on 5 March.
"A Ukrainian serviceman told a Ukrainian outlet that Russian forces have yet to cross the Bakhmutka River into central Bakhmut as of 4 March, and Russian milbloggers claimed that the Wagner Group pushed Ukrainian positions back to central Bakhmut. It is unclear if Ukrainian forces are planning to hold positions on the western bank of the Bakhmutka River," the report says.
The ISW is convinced that the Ukrainian defence of Bakhmut remains strategically sound as it continues to consume Russian manpower and equipment as long as Ukrainian forces do not suffer excessive casualties.