The ISW explained why the defense of Bakhmut is necessary
Solution Ukraine to defend Bakhmut is strategically sound. This was reported by the American Institute for the Study of War.
The Washington Post wrote that American defense planners believe that Ukrainian forces are not capable of simultaneously defending Bakhmut and launching a spring counteroffensive, and therefore called on Ukraine to give priority to a spring counteroffensive .
In turn, the ISW considers the defense of Bakhmut to be strategically justified. Analysts note that the defense of Bakhmut forced the Kremlin to spend a significant part of the PMC & # 171; Wagner & # 187; and deploy significant airborne resources to support a grueling offensive.
The report states that if the Russian occupiers captured Bakhmut without significant resistance from Ukraine, they could count on expanding operations in such a way as to force Ukraine to build hasty defensive positions on less favorable terrain.
Thus, the defense of Bakhmut and the creation of conditions for a counteroffensive by Ukraine are complementary, not mutually exclusive measures, given that Russian troops would continue their offensive outside of Bakhmut if Ukraine would have surrendered the city earlier.