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Ukraine likely staging ‘tactical withdrawal’ in Bakhmut; Russian mercenary chief’s rift with officials deepens

The status of the besieged city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine is unclear after conflicting reports at the weekend over how much of the city was controlled by Russian forces, and whether Ukrainian forces were starting to withdraw from parts of the city.

A Ukrainian commander of troops in Bakhmut said on Telegram Sunday that there were “no decisions or orders regarding retreat” and that “the defense is holding” in the city but also characterized the situation in Bakhmut and its outskirts as “very much like hell.”

Analysts at the Institute for the Study of War think tank said Sunday that Ukrainian forces appear to be conducting a “limited tactical withdrawal” in Bakhmut, however, although they noted that “it is still too early to assess Ukrainian intentions concerning a complete withdrawal from the city.”

The ISW noted that “Ukrainian forces are unlikely to withdraw from Bakhmut all at once and may pursue a gradual fighting withdrawal to exhaust Russian forces through continued urban warfare.”

Source : CNBC

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