Thursday, March 16, 2023

Has Ukraine made a mistake by refusing to retreat from Bakhmut?

Ukraine says its future may depend on the brutal battles currently raging around Bakhmut, but there are growing splits between officials in Kyiv and some Western military analysts over the best approach to what could be a decisive period in the conflict.

For months, Ukraine’s defense of the eastern city has held up and worn down Russian forces while serving as a potent symbol of the country’s defiance.

Now, as Moscow’s assault intensifies, a number of observers have questioned whether Kyiv's decision to reinforce the area rather than retreat is being driven more by the political desire to avoid a high-profile defeat than by military logic.

A long-speculated Ukrainian withdrawal from the battered city has not materialized, with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his military chiefs instead betting that they can buy critical time and benefits for a future counteroffensive by doubling down.


Unlike most other observers online, I don't know what Kyiv should do or have any advice, except Slava Ukraini. The strategy of bleeding Mordor with Ukrainians dying is sacrificial but ultimately may be effective. It's like Thermopylae on a massive scale and with modern arms. Horrible but inspirational. Pray for wisdom and cunning for the leaders of Ukraine.

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I suspect Mearsheimer is right: the West has seduced the Ukes into a terrible quagmire.

Be that as it may, I have a question. Today I read someone say with considerable assurance that the Uke army has suffered 100,000 fatalities, the Russian 20,000.

How can someone be so conceited as to believe that he could know such a thing?

Posted by: dearieme | Mar 16, 2023 3:41:55 PM