Heavy Ukranian losses on the Bakhmut Axis alarm Germany
The BND presented a report to parliamentarians assessing the heavy losses in Ukranian lines to motivate them to send Leopard tanks to Kiev
According to Der Spiegel, the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) has warned parliamentarians that the "massive" losses suffered by Ukrainian forces in the battle of Bakhmut, also known as Artyomovsk, could threaten the fortified line of defense in the Donbass region.
In an effort to persuade parliament to approve the deployment of Leopard tanks to Ukraine, the BND presented a report to parliamentarians last week assessing losses in the lines of Ukrainian forces as reaching 3 digit death toll on a daily basis on the Bakhmut axis.
The United States and several other NATO members have been pressuring Germany to provide Ukraine with Leopard tanks after Kiev had announced that it foresaw heavier fighting in the weeks to come.
On Friday, meetings between NATO military ministers took place in Germany. NATO members and their partners were unable to reach a plenary consensus on the provision of German tanks to Kiev, after the contact group conference on Ukraine support. However, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius revealed on Friday, that Berlin would continue deliberating this option for future possibilities.
German media reported that Chancellor Olaf Scholz informed US President Joe Biden, that Berlin would only send Leopard tanks to Ukraine if Washington sent its own Abrams tanks first. The German administration denied the claim but stated that it was still deliberating the decision to supply Ukraine with tanks.
The strategically important city of Soledar, which is about six miles away from Bakhmut, was seized by the Russian army last week, giving them an advantage in their plans to encircle Ukrainian forces posted nearby.
"the center of Soledar is under the control of the Wagner division, and here the guys have gained ground on one side and the other. They are already effectively moving forward," Pushilin, the acting head of Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), told Channel One.
On January 20th the Russian MoD announced that Russian forces have taken control of Klishchiivka near Bakhmut with the help of operational-tactical and army aviation, missile troops, and artillery from the Southern Military District.
"The village of Klishchiivka of the Donetsk People's Republic was liberated... with fire support from operational-tactical and army aviation, missile troops, and artillery of the Southern Military District," the ministry said in a statement.