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Kiev May Attempt Counteroffensive in Artemovsk in 'Near Future', Russian Experts Warn

© AFP 2023 / SERGEY SHESTAKUkrainian servicemen fire with a D-30 howitzer at Russian positions near Artemovsk, eastern Ukraine, on March 21, 2023
Ukrainian servicemen fire with a D-30 howitzer at Russian positions near Artemovsk, eastern Ukraine, on March 21, 2023 - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.03.2023
There are signs indicating that the Ukraine Armed Forces' counteroffensive in Artemovsk (also known as Bakhmut), has already begun, Leonid Reshetnikov, a veteran Russian foreign intelligence official, told Sputnik.
With the Russian special military operation in Ukraine underway, commander of the Ukrainian Ground Forces Alexander Syrsky has claimed that Kiev could soon launch a counteroffensive in the town of Artemovsk where heavy fighting shows no signs of abating.
He wrote in his Telegram channel that his troops "will take advantage of this opportunity [of counteroffensive] very soon."

"Of course, they [Ukrainian forces] are not going to give up Bakhmut, so they continue fighting. The only way to hold more or less successful counteroffensive to stop the advance of our troops," Reshetnikov, who is also a retired lieutenant general and a PhD in history, said.

He added that the Ukrainian troops have been resisting for quite a long time, but that their efforts are already running out as many delivery routes for Ukrainian weapons and garrisons have been cut or are under fire.

"Therefore, they are preparing counterattacks, first of all on the flanks, in order to somehow cut-off the emerging pincers and the encirclement of Bakhmut by Russian forces," the retired general said.

According to Reshetnikov, "there are already signs that such a counteroffensive has practically begun, given the Ukrainian troops’ attempts to put pressure on our troops on the flanks." He suggested that Kiev’s full-blown counteroffensive may kick off "in the near future."

When asked why Ukrainian forces continue to offer stubborn resistance in Artemovsk, Reshetnikov explained that Kiev perceives the town as "an important location, both from a military-strategic and a political and propaganda point of view."

He was echoed by Boris Rozhin, military expert with the Center for Military-Political Journalism, who told Sputnik that "there are signs of Ukrainian forces' preparations for a counteroffensive" aimed at removing the threat of encirclement of the town by Russian units.
When asked what problems Ukraine could face if it launches the counteroffensive, Rozhin referred to minefields, bad weather and the lack of various ammunition, among other pressing issues.
Wagner PMC near Artemovsk in the Donetsk People's Republic - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.03.2023
Zelensky Clings to Artemovsk to Show Hefty Western Military Aid ‘Not in Vain,’ Russian Analyst Says
Artemovsk has been the center of hostilities in Donbass for months. The town is an important transport hub with many crossroads, which previously served as a vital center for supplying pro-Kiev militants in the region.
According to the latest information, 70% of Artemovsk has been liberated by Russian troops, who also took control of all paved roads around the town.
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