KYIV: Ukraine’s military vowed on Tuesday (May 2) not to give up the eastern city of Bakhmut as it prepares to launch a counteroffensive against Russian forces.
General Oleksandr Syrskyi, commander of Ukrainian ground forces, underlined the importance Kyiv attaches to holding Bakhmut as preparations continue for a counterattack which it hopes will change the dynamic of the war in Ukraine.
The battle for Bakhmut has symbolic importance for both sides, with Ukraine still holding on to some parts of the city after months of fierce fighting against regular Russian troops and fighters from the Wagner mercenary force.
“Together with the commanders, we have made a number of necessary decisions aimed at ensuring the effective defence and inflicting maximum losses on the enemy,” Syrskyi said in remarks released after a visit to troops fighting in Bakhmut.
“We will continue, despite all the forecasts and advice, to hold Bakhmut, destroying Wagner and other most combat-capable units of the Russian army,” he told soldiers in video footage of his visit.
“We give our reserves an opportunity to prepare and we are preparing for further actions ourselves.”