The Ukrainian military announced this week that Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, commander of the Ukrainian Ground Forces, recently visited the eastern front lines to find ways to solve “problematic issues that prevent effective execution of combat tasks.” The Ukrainian commander also reportedly worked to strengthen his military’s ability to “deter and inflict damage on the enemy.”
On Monday, Syrskyi also said that his troops were continuing to push back against persistent Russian attacks on the city of Bakhmut and described efforts to prevent Russia from taking the city as a “military necessity.” Russia’s continued assault on the city has drawn speculation that the Kremlin may be taking advantage of the heavy presence of Wagner private soldiers in Bakhmut to take the city, rather than expending huge numbers of Russian soldiers on a city not considered strategically important for invading forces.
“The most intense phase of the battle for Bakhmut continues. The situation is constantly difficult. The enemy suffers significant losses in human resources, weapons and military equipment but continues to conduct offensive actions,” Syrskyi said.
No information about Syrskyi’s visit to the eastern frontline was revealed, but his comments come as the Ukrainian military experienced some successes over the weekend.
On Sunday, the spokesman for Ukraine’s Eastern Military Command described how Ukrainian soldiers were able to “stabilize the situation” in the eastern city. Serhii Cherevaty said that while the fighting continues, the intensity is gradually reducing and Ukrainian soldiers remain “confident” in their ability to fight.
“We are confident in our abilities, there is coherence, there is an algorithm, there is an understanding of our capabilities, an understanding of what needs to be done. This is stabilization,” Cherevaty said on national television on March 26.
Cherevaty described how there were 18 assaults on the Bakhmut frontline on Saturday, which reduced to 17 on Sunday. He also described how assaults have dropped significantly over the last few weeks.
“Before that, there were from 35 to 50 or more,” he said on national television. “However, this requires more detailed verification, analysis. Perhaps the enemy is maneuvering with their reserves, reconnaissance of forces. While he is firing the same dense in Bakhmut direction some 268 shelling was in total, some 94 shelling only of the town of Bakhmut, 17 clashes, 13 ones near the town.”
The Ukrainian official’s comments echoed those offered by the British Ministry of Defence on Saturday, which noted that Russia’s assault in the city had “largely stalled.”
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.