US believes Russia will keep advancing in Bakhmut: reports
A US official says that fierce fighting along the Bakhmut front will continue in the foreseeable future.
An official in the US administration confirmed during a press briefing on Wednesday that the Russian army has made "gradual progress in the city of Bakhmut," located on the western outskirts of the Donetsk region.
"The US leadership's assessment is that the Russians will continue to make some progress in this regard," the US official stressed.
He added, "There is still fierce fighting, as the Ukrainians continue to fight, and the Russians, in turn, continue to make gradual progress there," suggesting that "fighting will continue along the line in Donetsk in the foreseeable future."
The US official also pointed out, "Some thought that the fighting would end and stop in the winter, but we have constantly said that we do not believe that this will happen, and this is what it appears to be. Even with the onset of winter, both sides continue to fight with great force on the ground."
The situation in Bakhmut
Russian forces proceed to advance toward the densely populated areas of the city after they succeeded more than a month ago in tightening their siege on the Ukrainian forces present there, and they continue to bombard their positions with missiles and artillery.
Western media have been speaking about the Battle of Bakhmut for over a month now, in which Kiev's allies fear that Russian control over it will be a key to the collapse of the entire front in the hands of the Russian forces during the harsh winter, while Russian sources confirm that the Ukrainian forces and mercenaries suffer heavy losses in lives and equipment.
The Ukrainian forces suffer greatly from the difficulty of transferring personnel to the city, due to the harsh weather conditions on the one hand, and also because they were forced to withdraw reinforcements from the Zaporozhye and Svatove fronts, to reinforce the combat group in Bakhmut.
With this last option, Ukraine's forces would weaken their positions in other cities and be forced to sacrifice their capabilities in those directions and throw all their reserve forces in an attempt to block the Russian advance.
It is noteworthy that on September 30, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the heads of the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics, as well as the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, signed agreements on the accession of these territories to Russia, following referenda that showed that an overwhelming majority of the local population supported becoming part of Russia.