Bakhmut saved? Local Ukrainian counterattack pushes Russian positions back.
The battle of Bakhmut has been raging on for a while now, 10 months to be exact. It started in early August after the Russian breakthrough of Popasna (15 miles East of Bakhmut) in June of 2022. Since then its been constant urban fighting since January. With both sides suffering casualties on a scale not seen since Yugoslavia or Vietnam.
But I have always felt and many on the Pro-Russian side, that once Wagner/Russian forces took the flanks on both sides of Bakhmut, the casualties would shift in favor of Russia, and it was now Ukraine stuck in a meat grinder/death pit of being hit by artillery from 3 sides as opposed to 1 side before February.
At first glance it may not seem like much, but it is. Securing and keeping the flanks of Bakhmut on either side is a must for Russia. Without a secure flank, not only can Russia not inflict more casualties on Ukraine than Vise Versa, but they risk the threat of encirclement from both North and South by Ukraine which would be a catastrophe.
It has been hypothesized that the UA army (with up to 60k men in the general area of Bakhmut) will counterattack from both north and south and link up somewhere in the East of Bakhmut, obviously it will not go exactly like this but this is somewhat of a estimation of how a Ukrainian counterattack could look like.
And to back up this theory, Russian sources stated yesterday that they thwarted a Ukrainian offensive group of about 100 soldiers near Soledar, and the most striking thing is that Wagner claimed that the Ukrainians were using newly supplied Leopard tanks in this offensive AND on top of that, Wagner claims one of the tanks hit a mine and blew its track off. The theory about Ukraine taking Bakhmut into a pincer movement is like that of the Battles of Kiev (1941) and Kursk (1943).
It remains to be seen whether this was just a regular probing attack, or the start of something else. But the UA offensive has been pushed back far enough, they will have to launch it sooner rather than later.
A pattern of Ukrainian counterattacks
Bakhmut is not the only area we have seen Ukraine probings, and large reinforcements. Kherson has a large concentration of Ukrainian troops, Russia has noticed large volumes of equipment moving towards Kupyansk and the Belgorod Oblast. As well as the Kharkiv direction. And of course the Zaporozhe direction which is speculated where the main bulk of the Ukraine offensive will take place.
Where ever the offensive spearhead will take place one thing is for certain, Ukraine is trying to cover up or hide that fact. As Sun Tzu says, “never let your enemy know where you will strike”. And it still applies almost 3,000 years later. But I am confident to say that the Zaporizhia direction will be where the main Ukrainian offensive will take place, its a vital interest for Ukraine to cut the land bridge connecting Russia to Crimea.
But one catch, The Russians have built up the area so much over the last 6 months that it practically resembles a miniature version of the Maginot line (minus the deep underground forts of course). The upcoming offensive will either be written down in the history books as “the most successful of the 21st century” or a humiliating disaster. And I personally lean towards the latter. Whatever happens, the firepower of this offensive will dwarf that of Iraq 10 times over. This is how modern war will be like at least until the 2050s.