Members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), who are now in Artemovsk (Ukrainian name — Bakhmut) in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), staged a firefight between their units. This was announced on March 2 by Lieutenant Colonel of the People’s Militia of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), retired Andrei Marochko.
“On the western outskirts of Artemovsk, in the area of the children’s hospital, a short battle was recorded with the use of small arms and grenade launchers. It should be noted that there are no Russian troops in this area and only Ukrainian militants and mercenaries are stationed there,” Marochko was quoted by TASS.
On March 1, Igor Kimakovsky, adviser to the acting head of the DPR, said that the most experienced units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine had lost up to 70% of their personnel in the battles in the Artemovsk region. Kimakovsky suggested that the losses would be made up for by the forces of the territorial defense units as the least important for Kyiv.
On the same day, Alexander Rodnyansky, adviser to the President of Ukraine, said that if necessary, the Armed Forces of Ukraine would «strategically retreat» from Artemivsk, since «Kyiv does not want to sacrifice military personnel in vain.»
At the same time, the commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with the call sign Madyar, in a recorded video message from the fighters, noted that Kyiv was losing several companies a day in Artemovsk, and urged the command to leave the city. He noted that, according to his vision of the situation, «it’s not worth it.»
On February 28, the Daily Express newspaper reported that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky feared the fall of Artemivsk. The publication said that Zelensky acknowledged the difficulties in defending the city. The author of the material also noted that the capture of Artemovsk would be a great symbolic and strategic victory for Moscow.
At present, a difficult situation is developing in Artemovsk for the Ukrainian troops. This was repeatedly confirmed by the Ukrainian leader, who a few days ago called the situation near the city permanently difficult. Despite this, the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is not going to leave the settlement, but sends more and more reinforcements there.