When the Russian forces take control of Bakhmut (the Russian name of the city is Artemovsk), the Russian Armed Forces will be able to advance deep inside Ukraine, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said explaining the meaning of ongoing fierce battles for the city.
According to the minister, Bakhmut is an important defence hub of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Donbass.
"Taking it under control will allow further offensive actions deep into defence of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” Shoigu said.
Battles for the city continue for more than seven months. The Armed Forces of Ukraine have been holding the line in Bakhmut since August 2022.
On March 7, the Donetsk People's Republic announced control over half of the city.
The Ukrainian authorities intend to continue the defence of Bakhmut.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of PMC Wagner, said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine were not retreating from Bakhmut, and the Russian military would have to fight fiercely for every house and street.
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