The extended battle for Bakhmut is portrayed within the press as a logo of Russian weak point. I do know that many Westerners have scratched their heads and puzzled why such a fierce battle is being waged over this specific piece of territory. The reply, I consider, lies beneath the floor of Bakhmut/Soledar within the Soledar Salt Mines (aka Artyomsol Salt Mines). The Salt mine is a monster, with a 125 miles of tunnels.
Check out these photographs:
Evgeny Prigozhin, the creator of the Wagner Group provided the next replace on the scenario in Bakhmut and mentions the Salt mines in passing:
“Bakhmut is the central level of the Jap Entrance and a critical logistics heart. And our job there may be to die as little as potential, and to destroy the enemy as a lot as potential.
Bakhmut’s characteristic is in its distinctive historic and geographical protection capabilities, which embody, first, the division of the town into a number of elements by water limitations. Secondly, the neighborhood of Bakhmut is a posh of settlements that create a unified protection system. Thirdly, this can be a distinctive panorama, ravines and heights, that are pure tunnels. And the icing on the cake is the system of Soledar and Bakhmut mines, truly a community of underground cities. In which there’s not solely a cluster of individuals at a depth of 80-100 meters, but in addition tanks and infantry preventing autos transfer. And stockpiles of weapons have been saved because the First World Struggle “(c) Prigozhin
I believe there may be extra happening underground than salt-mining. It’s a safe warehouse for Ukraine’s army tools. The weblog ScoopTrade supplies an excellent overview:
Previous to the beginning of the particular army operation in Ukraine, Artyomsol was the biggest enterprise for the extraction and sale of desk salt in Central and Jap Europe. It consists of 5 salt mines, that are positioned throughout the metropolis limits of Soledar and Praskovievka: mines No. 1, No. 3, No. 4, No. 7 and the Volodarsky mine. They’re interconnected by rail and highway, in addition to a developed system of underground communications, which, after the outbreak of hostilities, had been improved by the army personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The Artemsoli salt mine system is already being utilized by the Armed Forces of Ukraine as an underground fortress. Ammunition depots, quarters for personnel, and in some locations even hangars for tools are geared up at nice depths. And “get” them from the floor is sort of unimaginable. Underground communications are additionally utilized by Ukrainian army personnel to maneuver between positions, and the approaches and a few entrances to the mines are mined and able to be blown up. When it comes to issue for the assault, the Artemsol mines can simply compete with the well-known Azovstal in Mariupol.
This helps clarify why Ukraine is pouring shrinking manpower into the meat grinder battle on the floor. It’s a essential facility. Nevertheless, is it potential that Ukraine has saved proof of its bioweapons program within the mines? That is greater than a key transportation/logistics hub.
Curiously, an nameless White Home official this week started pushing the road that Prighozin, who’s a Chef, is simply concerned with getting management of the salt mine monetary advantages (and possibly for its culinary high quality):
The USA is of the view that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ally Yevgeny Prigozhin, who’s the founding father of Russia’s strongest mercenary group, is concerned with taking management of salt and gypsum from mines close to the Ukrainian-held metropolis of Bakhmut, a White Home official stated on Thursday.
There are indications that financial motives are driving Russia’s and Prigozhin’s “obsession” with Bakhmut, the official added. Prigozhin is the proprietor of personal Russian army firm Wagner Group.
I believe there may be extra to this than simply attempting to hold on to a worthwhile pure useful resource. Ukraine is just not preventing a determined battle and sacrificing 1000’s of its troops simply to guard a profitable spice. What do you assume?