"The icing on the cake": Wagner boss: Want Bachmut because of the tunnel

Why is Russia targeting the small town of Bakhmut? While the USA suspects a takeover of the salt and gypsum mines, Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin now cites military reasons.

"The icing on the cake": Wagner boss: Want Bachmut because of the tunnel

Why is Russia targeting the small town of Bakhmut? While the USA suspects a takeover of the salt and gypsum mines, Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin now cites military reasons. The mine system is so desirable because troops and even tanks can fit in there.

The founder of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, justified the bitter push to capture the small Ukrainian town of Bakhmut in Donetsk with the huge tunnel systems that exist there, in which troops and tanks could find shelter.

"The icing on the cake is the Soledar and Bakhmut mining system, which is actually a network of underground cities," Prigozhin explained via Telegram. "Not only can it accommodate a large group of people at a depth of 80-100 meters, but tanks and armored personnel carriers can also move in it." Weapons have been stored in these tunnels since World War I. Bachmut is an important logistics center with unique defensive positions.

The Russian army and the Wagner group have been trying to take Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine for five months. Some Western military experts have expressed puzzlement given the heavy Russian casualties and the possibility that Ukrainian forces could withdraw to nearby new defensive positions should a Russian victory occur. So it would be a Pyrrhic victory.

US circles announced on Thursday that Prigozhin wanted to take control of the salt and gypsum mines in the region for commercial reasons. The alleged military use of the underground facilities was not mentioned.

Bakhmut is called Artjomowsk by the Russian side. It is known that a tunnel system of mines extends over more than 160 kilometers in the region. In peacetime, concerts and football matches were held in a large underground hall.

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