- Russian forces continue to invest a large element of their overall military effort and firepower along an approximately 15km long sector of entrenched front line around the Donetsk Oblast town of Bakhmut.
- Russia’s plan is likely to encircle the town with tactical advances to the north and south. In recent days, Russia has highly likely made small advances on the southern axis of this assault, where it is seeking to consolidate limited bridgeheads to the west of the boggy ground around the minor Bakhmutka River.
- Russia has prioritised Bakhmut as its main offensive effort since early August 2022. The capture of the town would have limited operational value although if would potentially allow Russia to threaten the larger urban areas of Kramatorsk and sloviansk. However, the campaign has been disproportionately costly relative to these possible gains. There is a realistic possibility that Bakhmut’s capture has become primarily a symbolic, political objective for Russia.
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