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My question is not so much whether Ukraine benefits from holding Bakhmut, since they clearly do. It's more that I think there's a greater benefit to falling back to more established lines that only face attack from one side.

That said, the situation has appeared to stablize around Bakhmut for now, but any small changes in territory could make the position untenable and Ukraine needs to be very wary of that.
 
Well Russia just gained a huge stretch of border directly against a NATO member. Achievement unlocked!

AoD
Yes, I think they will be successful in converting nearly their entire border with Europe to NATO members or quasi-members (I suspect post-conflict Ukraine will become very close to NATO if not gaining membership). All they need to do is make Lukashenko so unpopular he gets toppled and replaced by a pro-EU political movement in Belarus to complete the set. I've been amazed at how tepid Belarus' support has been for Russia in this war. I suspect Lukashenko is too vulnerable and even be a useful puppet.
 
To quote Star Trek..

"Destroying an empire to win a war is no victory. And ending a battle to save an empire is no defeat."

If Ukraine holds out in Bakhmut and gets decimated in the process, the victory will be hollow.

Better to fall back, regroup and press on elsewhere.
The AFU know their trade and will do what’s necessary. Notice that the Ukrainians only have enough forces in Bakhmut to hold back or just slow the Russians. Where are the rest of Ukraine’s soldiers? My guess, training in NATO and in central Ukraine preparing their Leopards, Challengers, Bradleys and Marders. This is going to look like Desert Storm, with the Russians playing the Iraqis.
 
Yes, I think they will be successful in converting nearly their entire border with Europe to NATO members or quasi-members (I suspect post-conflict Ukraine will become very close to NATO if not gaining membership). All they need to do is make Lukashenko so unpopular he gets toppled and replaced by a pro-EU political movement in Belarus to complete the set. I've been amazed at how tepid Belarus' support has been for Russia in this war. I suspect Lukashenko is too vulnerable and even be a useful puppet.

Well, there is a price for running to daddy to keep yourself in power when there is popular discontent - it's called defenestration.

AoD
 
Works great, until you get an experienced tank crew that realizes they have a really big gun sticking out.
Absolutely. But the episode says a lot about the courage and daring of the Ukrainians and their confidence in the incapability and demotivation of their opponents.
 
Poorly trained, equipped and motivated Russians has been the story of this war.

To an extent, I've also seen Ukrainians do some absolutely insane things that no Western soldier would consider. This is either driven by outright patriotism, or outright fatalism, or both.

We have forgotten what this feels like. But during the worst days of WWI in the trenches or airmen during the Battle of Britain in WWII, life expectancy was measured in days, our forefathers thought and acted similarly.

I was recently listening to a podcast interview of a Vietnam POW. And what they describe is incomprehensible to most of our military today. They lost squadron mates on every single mission. And yet woke up the next day and strapped back into the jet. There are real debates if our militaries and societies are ready to engage in that kind of warfare if necessary.

 

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