Wednesday, March 8, 2023

If Bakhmut falls, Russia will have a "open road" into Ukraine: Zelenskyy Arun

Russia would get 'open road' into Ukraine if Bakhmut falls: Zelenskyy

 KYIV: US media reported on Tuesday that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that the Russian army would have an "open road" into eastern Ukraine if it captured the besieged city of Bakhmut.

"We know that they could go further after Bakhmut. "It would be open road for the Russians after Bakhmut to other towns in Ukraine, in the direction of Donetsk," he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in an interview that will be broadcast in the United States on Wednesday. "They could go to Kramatorsk, they could go to Sloviansk."

As a symbolic prize for months of intense fighting, the Russian army has pledged to capture the eastern Ukrainian town of Bakhmut as a prelude to offensives further into Ukraine.

The battle for Bakhmut, a salt-mining town that had an 80,000-person population before the war, has been the longest and bloodiest in Russia's over-year invasion of Ukraine, which has destroyed large portions of the country and displaced millions of people.

Russia seems determined to take the town at any cost.

During a televised meeting on Tuesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told military officials, "Captaining (Bakhmut) will allow for further offensive operations deep into the defence lines of the Armed Forces of Ukraine."

CNN was informed by Zelenskyy that his armed forces had decided to remain in Bakhmut.

He stated, "I had a meeting with the chief of staff yesterday and the chief military commanders online and offline... and they all talk about the need for us to stand strong in Bakhmut."

Naturally, we must consider the lives of our military personnel. However, while our army prepares for the counteroffensive and we acquire weapons and supplies, we must do everything in our power."

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