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CNN, USA urge Bakhmut to give up but Zelensky won’t

(ANSA) — ROME, JAN 24 — U.S. and Western officials are urging Ukraine to shift its attention from brutal fighting that has been going on for nearly six months in the eastern city of Bakhmut to a possible offensive in the south, but Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy refused and has not yet decided what to do. This was told to CNN by US and Ukrainian officials.

In a meeting with Zelenskyy, US Assistant National Security Advisor Jon Finer, US Assistant Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Assistant Secretary of Defense Colin Kahl said the US wanted to help Ukraine move away from the battle of attrition outside Bakhmut and instead focus on one Mechanization is a maneuver warfare style that leverages rapid, unexpected moves against Russia, sources familiar with their discussion said. The hundreds of armored vehicles that the United States and European countries have shipped to Ukraine in recent weeks, including 14 British tanks, are designed to help Kyiv make that transition.

However, it is not clear whether Zelenskyy is ready to give up Bakhmut. People familiar with his mindset tell CNN that Zelensky doesn’t believe a Russian win at Bakhmut is a given and remains reluctant to give it up.

Keeping Bakhmut would give Ukraine a better chance of retaking the entire Donbass region, Zelenskyy believes; Conversely, if the Russians capture it, it will give them an opportunity to push further towards the strategically important eastern cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. Bakhmut is also an important symbol of resistance for the Ukrainian president. (HAND).



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