WP: US believed Bakhmut would fall in January, fighting continues three months later
Bakhmut. Photo via 93rd Kholodnyi Yar mechanised brigade / Facebook

The United States believed back in January that Bakhmut was about to be captured by Russian forces, the Washington Post reported, citing leaked classified Pentagon documents.

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Back in January 2023, Washington warned of the potential encirclement of Ukraine’s forces in Bakhmut and suggested that Kyiv should cut its losses and let the city go.

The classified US assessment back then said that Russian advances since November "had jeopardised Ukraine’s ability to hold the city," and Ukrainian forces would probably be "at risk of encirclement, unless they withdraw within the next month."

"Those warnings have largely gone unheeded," reports WP, with Ukraine arguing that holding Bakhmut has sapped Russia’s strength by killing many soldiers, especially from the Wagner mercenary group.

On the morning of 21 April, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said that fierce fighting for Bakhmut is ongoing.

Ukraine’s defence minister, Oleksii Reznikov, earlier disagreed that Ukraine was allegedly undermining its counter-offensive potential in Bakhmut, arguing that the Defence Forces were actively destroying the occupiers, who could be used by Russia elsewhere on the frontline.