Battle for Bakhmut
Natia Seskuria, a Russia expert and associate fellow at the London-based Royal United Services Institute, told Newsweek that taking Bakhmut is important for Moscow to strengthen its effort to capture the Donbas region by launching a broader campaign in the northwest focusing on Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. "Bakhmut is located on the key supply line between Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, the separatist-controlled regions in the Donbas. So, Moscow aims to cut Ukrainian supply lines and advance further into the Donbas region," she said. Seskuria noted however that should Russian troops manage to use Bakhmut as a pathway to Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, they will be faced by "strong Ukrainian resistance."