The West Does a Back Flip on Bakhmut’s Strategic Importance

This is like shooting fish in a barrel. I could not resist the temptation to expose the massive hypocrisy. With Bakhmut on the verge of full collapse into the hands of the Russians, the political whores that populate Washington and Europe are out now in full battle cry — BAKHMUT IS NOT IMPORTANT!! Understand?

Well let’s take a short stroll down memory lane. This is what was being said three months ago:

January 23, 2023 (Impact Nottingham):

At first, Bakhmut wasn’t considered strategically significant, not until the Russians captured the cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, two key strategic cities in the Luhansk Oblast. The city also became iconic and symbolic after President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Washington and gave a speech in which he mentioned the city.  Zelensky himself compared it to the Battle of the Bulge, the last major offensive launched by Nazi Germany to attack the Allied forces on the Western front, which only ended in disaster and with huge casualties.

Some have pointed out that Bakhmut’s strategic importance and location is why both Ukrainian and Russian troops have directed a lot of attention to Bakhmut . The city is located on the key supply routes and communications site between the two largest Ukrainian cities in the Donetsk Oblast; Kramatorsk and Sloviansk. The former is the de-facto capital of the Donetsk Oblast after Separatists from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) captured it briefly in 2014.

Losing Bakhmut to Russian forces would effectively destroy the large number of Ukrainian troops stationed there, which protect the city from Russian capture, and would open the gateway to a rapid Russian capture of the entire Donetsk Oblast, leaving Ukraine with less troops to defend against the larger Russian army. This would make it nearly impossible to fully re-capture the Russian occupied territories in Ukraine.

January 10, 2023 (NBC News):

Russian forces appear close to capturing a small but strategically important town on the front lines of the war in eastern Ukraine. . . .

Bakhmut has become a symbol of Ukraine’s defiance against Russian aggression, with Zelenskyy mentioning the struggle to hold the city in his address to the U.S. Congress in December and giving then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a Ukrainian flag signed by soldiers from his visit to the front lines there a day earlier.

December 14, 2022 (Ukrainian Daily News):

Military expert Oleg Zhdanov explained the strategic importance of Bakhmut. He said this on his YouTube channel. According to him, if Bakhmut is taken, the way to Slovyansk will open before the invaders.

“But that’s not the point. In case the occupiers take Bakhmut, we have the next line of defense ready there. They won’t advance any further. And they have to keep on going to Slovyansk,” Zhdanov noted.

The expert once again emphasized that the fact of victory is not important for the Russian Federation, but the strategic importance of the city.

The Australians weighed in — Russia Hunts Win in Strategic City of Bakhmut After Weeks of Setbacks in Ukraine war

December 14, 2022 (TRT World):

So what makes Bakhmut such a crucial front in the Ukraine war? And why is Russia putting in so many resources to capture a small city that “would have limitedoperational value”?

For the uninitiated, Bakhmut is located on a strategic supply line between Donetsk and Luhansk, the two separatist-held regions in Ukraine’s Donbass region, which Russia claimed to have annexed a few months ago.

Experts agree that the capture of Bakhmut could potentially change the course of the conflict and give Russia a platform to launch a broader campaign across many parts of Ukraine.

Now that Bakhmut is slipping from the control of Ukraine we are told, Never Mind.

Emily Litella has been reincarnated.

March 6, 2023 (US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin):

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Monday if Russian troops manage to seize control of the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, that would not represent a decisive shift in the conflict.

“I think it is more of a symbolic value than it is strategic and operational value,” Austin told reporters during a visit to Jordan.

March 3, 2023 (The Washington Post):

Bakhmut was “not a particularly symbolically or strategically important city” originally, said Karolina Hird, Russia analyst at the Institute for the Study of War. It’s more than 30 miles from the closest major cities, Kramatorsk and Slovyansk.

February 14, 2023 (The Guardian):

Russian forces have made incremental progress in the last day or two in their assault on the Ukrainian city of Bahkmut but it is unclear if it will fall, the White House has said. John Kirby, the US national security council spokesperson, added that if Bakhmut were to fall to the Russians “it would not have a strategic impact on the overall war”.

In addition to hypocrisy, there is what I describe as “Bat Shit Crazy.” And that award goes to David Axe who writes for Forbes Magazine. He takes delusional thought into the Twilight Zone:

There are just two roads out of Bakhmut for Ukrainian troops. Russian forces are within rocket range of both of them. And that means that, after nine months of brutal fighting, the battle for Bakhmut is entering what could be its decisive phase.

In the coming hours or days, it’s possible one of two things will happen. The Russians advance so close to the two roads that the Ukrainians retreat in order to avoid encirclement. Or the Ukrainians counterattack and push back the Russians.

The former would resolve the long, awful fight over Bakhmut. The latter would prolong it. In any event, the ultimate outcome should be the same. Whether or not they capture the virtually lifeless ruins of Bakhmut, the Russians have expended a lot of their combat power.

Which appears to be exactly what the Ukrainians wanted. They apparently have used Bakhmut—and the Kremlin’s weird obsession with the town—to bleed Russian forces and, in so doing, set the conditions for a long-planned spring offensive.

Wow! I never realized that the Ukrainians decided to incur enormous casualties among their troops in order to lure the Russians into a clever NATO trap. Reminds me of the strategy of Monty Python’s Black Knight.

This is the world we live in. This absurdity would normally be great grist for a comedy sketch. But there is nothing humorous about this war, it is a profound tragedy. Tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers are being sacrificed needlessly because NATO wants to use Ukraine as a proxy to fight Russia. And behind these horrendous casualties there are hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian mothers, fathers and siblings mourning the loss of a loved one.

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Thanks for sharing!