Ukrainian troops in Bakhmut in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine (Petro Batanov)
The Wall Street Journal’s Yaroslav Trofimov and I joined Ireland’s RTE Radio 1 on Tuesday to analyze the state of the 10-month Russian assault on Bakhmut and its significance for the next phase of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
After Trofimov reports on the situation inside the city in the Donetsk region, I work through the military and political dynamics — including the all-out Russian quest for their first symbolic win since July, the Ukrainian decision to maintain resistance, and the in-fighting in Moscow between the Wagner Group mercenaries and the Russian Defense Ministry.
Then I set out the likely scenario. Russia may finally have a “Pyrrhic victory”, but the drain on its manpower, armor, and weapons opens the way for a much more important Ukrainian counter-offensive later this year.