Bakhmut is an "important nucleus of the Ukrainian troops' defense in Donbas. Its capture will allow continuing offensive actions towards the depth of the defense of the Ukrainian forces," said Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in a meeting with his military leadership.
Although the Ukrainian army has received massive amounts of Western weapons, such support "has not translated into successes for Ukrainian troops on the battlefield," he said over the weekend while visiting the operations field.
"On the contrary, there is a significant increase in casualties among the members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Between January and February, casualties increased by over 40 percent and exceeded 11,000 servicemen," Shoigu pointed out.
‼️�� Bakhmut est en feu : les combats les plus durs continuent, les forces armées ukrainiennes ont envoyé des renforts au combat
The tweet reads, "Bakhmut is on fire: the toughest fighting continues, the Ukrainian armed forces have sent reinforcements to the fight. Ukrainian military analysts confirm that the Ukrainian Armed Forces control virtually nothing in Zabakhmutka. In the area…"
A few weeks ago, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said that his army would not defend Bakhmut at any cost. However, he has not decided to withdraw his troops so far.
As can be inferred from a British intelligence report updated to March 7, the Ukrainian defense of Bakhmut continues to "degrade the forces of both sides" and prolong the conflict.
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) holds that the battle for Bakhmut has acquired "strategic importance" due to the composition of the Russian forces attacking the city.