Footage released on Tuesday, March 14, showed a burning Russian tank in Bakhmut, as Ukraine’s leadership stressed the strategic value of the frontline Donetsk Oblast city.
The battle for Bakhmut has seen some of conflict’s heaviest fighting, with both sides engaged in nonstop combat for months.
Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief Valeriy Zaluzhny said on Tuesday the defense of Bakhmut “is of paramount strategic importance for deterring the enemy. It is key to the stability of the defense of the entire front.”
President Volodymyr Zelensky echoed Zaluzhny’s words, saying reinforcement of Ukrainian defences in Bakhmut was a “main focus”.
The comments came after US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was earlier this month quoted by Reuters as saying Bakhmut “is more of a symbolic value than it is strategic and operational value.”
“The fall of Bakhmut won’t necessarily mean that the Russians have changed the tide of this fight,” he said. Credit: 93rd Mechanized Brigade (Ukraine) via Storyful