The defense of Bakhmut should create favorable conditions for a Ukrainian counteroffensive.
Ukraine’s partners are concerned about Ukraine’s determination to keep Bakhmut in the Donetsk region. The ISW refers to the US leadership that believes Ukrainian forces cannot simultaneously defend Bakhmut and prepare the spring counteroffensive. Therefore, it calls on Kyiv to pay priority attention to the conduct of countermeasures. For their part, ISW experts believe that Ukraine’s decision to keep Bakhmut is a strategically justified step, despite its cost to Ukraine. “The Ukrainian defense of Bakhmut led to the weakening of significant portions of the Russian forces and will probably create favorable conditions for a Ukrainian counteroffensive,” say analysts. At the same time, the representative of the National Security Council of the White House, John Kirby, said that the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from Bakhmut will not have a strategic impact on the course of the war.