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Land Forces chief visits Bakhmut, says Russia resorts to 'scorched earth' tactics

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 10, 2023 9:54 AM 2 min read
Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi (R), commander of Ukraine's Land Forces, shakes hands with a Ukrainian serviceman during his visit to the frontline positions in Donetsk Oblast's Bakhmut on April 9, 2023. (Ukraine's Defense Ministry media center/Telegram)
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Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, commander of Ukraine's Land Forces and Eastern Operational Command, visited Ukrainian positions on the Bakhmut front line in Donetsk Oblast on April 9, according to the Defense Ministry media center.

After the visit, Syrskyi said Russia was forced to involve special forces and airborne assault units in the battle for Bakhmut as Ukraine's military has "exhausted" Wagner Group mercenaries in the fighting.

"The enemy switched to the so-called Syrian scorched earth tactics. It destroys buildings and (military) positions with air strikes and artillery fire," the Ukrainian commander added, cited by the media center. "Bakhmut's defense continues. The situation is difficult but under control."

During the Bakhmut visit, Syrskyi assessed the state of units fighting in the area and listened to problems and requests raised by their commanders that "require immediate resolution," the media center wrote.

Land Forces chief made some operational decisions regarding the defense of the city, assigned tasks to unit commanders as well as presented "the best soldiers" with awards, valuable gifts, and cash incentives, reads the report.

The Kremlin-controlled mercenary Wagner Group has been assisting Russia's military in trying to capture Bakhmut for almost eight months as Moscow tries to consolidate its grip over the entirety of Donetsk Oblast.

The U.K. Defense Ministry reported in its April 7 assessment that Russian forces had "regained some momentum" in the battle for Ukraine's eastern city of Bakhmut after a delay in their advance since late March.

This Week in Ukraine Ep. 1 – Why does Ukraine keep up costly defense of Bakhmut?
“This Week in Ukraine” is a video podcast hosted by Kyiv Independent’s reporter Anastasiia Lapatina. Every week, Anastasiia sits down with her newsroom colleagues to discuss Ukraine’s most pressing issues. Episode #1 is dedicated to Ukraine’s military strategy in Bakhmut, an embattled city in Donet…
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