Why Bakhmut?

Wednesday 11 January 2023

News Update:

From the Internet: New York Times

  • Bakhmut
  • Wagner Group claims to have taken Soledar, north of Bakhmut.
  • If true this would be the first Russian military success in months.
  • Many, including Zelensky, have questioned Russia’s apparent obsession with capturing Bakhmut.  There are a number of different theories.  For some, the determination to take Bakhmut with almost exclusively Wagner Group troops is both an effort to built a reputation for Wagner and also to bolster a power move by its founder Prigozhin.
  • Prigozhin wants to present Wager as being the only effective fighting group on the Russian side.
  • The purported capture of Soledar is intended to complete an envelopment of Bakhmut from the north.
  • The fighting in Bakhmut is different from fighting in other areas where the Ukrainians have avoided direct confrontations and adopted a more nimble and smart method of fighting.
  • The struggle for Bakhmut is said to have symbolic value for both sides.
  • According to a report from Reuters, Prigozhin has stated that Wagner wants access to the vast underground cities that exist near Bakhmut and have multiple entrances near Soledar.  These cities are disused salt mines.
  • Tank and infantry can move around freely in these underground tunnels and it is thought the military that controls the unused mines can outflank the other.
  • Others have noted the strategic positive of the salt and gypsum still in the mines.
  • The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) thinks that Wagner is interested in exploiting the natural resources in the undergraound complex of tunnels and cities
  • Russian Economy
  • Russia posts a $47 billion budget deficit for 2022.
  • Mikhail Mishustin, Russian prime minister.

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