300 days after the start of the invasion, Zelensky once again ridicules Russian military intelligence

Bakhmut It is a medium-sized city (25,000 inhabitants in February 2022) located at the epicenter of the battle for Donbas. A few kilometers from Donetsk, almost bordering the Lugansk region and with direct highway access to the Ukrainian supply hub Sloviansk-Kramatorsk, Bakhmut has become the great meat grinder of Putin’s war in the last six months. Initially for strategic reasons and, since the end of the summer, for pure political commitment, the conquest of Bakhmut has become an obsession for the Russian high command and, above all, for the management of the Wagner Grouppersonified in Eugeni Prigozhin.

During these last three months, almost every week, we have had to read information in the pro-Russian media announcing the immediate capture of the city. The reality, however, has been more stubborn. Not even Wagner’s mercenaries neither the Chechen volunteers nor the regulars of the Russian army have managed to advance in all this time beyond about twenty kilometers. Although last week they came close to the neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city, they were also soon repelled by local defenses.

At a time when all operations seem frozen by the neighborhood, snow and rain, the continuous Russian offensive on Bakhmut, which continues to leave hundreds dead every week, seems the only thread that Russian propaganda can hold on to. A weak and oscillating thread after three hundred days of a war that was to last ten, according to Russian military intelligence. A military intelligence that he saw this Tuesday as Volodimir Zelenskithe Ukrainian president, laughed at them again.

[Bakhmut: cómo Rusia y Ucrania se han empeñado en alargar la batalla más sangrienta y absurda]

The omnipresent Zelensky

Zelensky. The goal of this invasion was from the beginning Zelenski. For this reason, Putin concentrated most of his troops on the northern border of Ukraine and for this reason he wanted to enter kyiv and was about to succeed. Reports claimed that Zelensky was little more than a straw man, a comedian who at the slightest problem would run out of the country. And if he didn’t, Russia had infiltrated several paramilitary groups ready to kill him and his family.

The conviction that Zelensky would be assassinated by the feared Russian secret services, which have sown panic over the years -the families of Litvinenko, Nemtsov, Politkovskaia, Navalny and many others can attest to this- was shared by the international community. The United States repeatedly offered him asylum before it was too late. However, Zelensky stayed. He not only stayed, but he wanted the whole world to know that he had stayed: a good part of the Ukrainian resistance of the first days is explained by the resistance of its president, who posted videos on social networks from his bunker, his palace and even from the street after some savage attack.

A tank of Ukrainian soldiers in the city of Bakhmut.

A tank of Ukrainian soldiers in the city of Bakhmut.


Zelensky was in kyiv when kyiv was targeted. He was in Kharkov when Kharkov was surrounded. He was in Lisichansk when the entire Lugansk region was about to fall into Russian hands. Zelensky was in Mykolaiv and Odessa, decorating those who had defended both cities during the first weeks of the invasion. Finally, Zelensky was in Kherson when the Russian troops were forced to withdraw from the city. In the first person, a few kilometers from the front, these three hundred days of war have also been three hundred days of a constant challenge by the Ukrainian president to Russian military intelligence.

You to Bakhmut and I to Belarus

The last episode, as we said, took place this Tuesday, with the announcement of Zelenski’s visit to Bakhmut. The audacity is amazing. The images that come to us from Bakhmut are those of a devastated city inevitably reminiscent of Mariupol during the worst part of their military siege. The fact that Zelenski has managed to move to the front line of combat, he has been able to meet with his officers and has returned to kyiv without Russia even realizing it, is a new historical ridicule. He not only shows that Bakhmut is far from falling, but that they don’t even control his access to the northwest, allowing the most wanted person on the planet to come and go without any problem.

Zelensky visits Bakhmut.

Zelensky’s attitude necessarily contrasts with that of Vladimir Putin. Putin has never stood out as the bravest man in the world, but perhaps what happened in Izyum at the beginning of May, when a Ukrainian drone killed twelve Russian officers gathered in their mobile headquarters, was the straw that broke the camel’s back. your fears. Since then, trips by Russian leaders to Ukraine have been limited to the extreme. The state agency TASS announced on Sunday an alleged visit by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to the troops, although it did not specify where that visit had taken place or offer any image in this regard.

In the same way, TASS assured that Putin had made a similar visit the previous Friday, December 16, which seems very unlikely considering that there is no graphic support for said visit either and that Putin is not a fan of getting so close to fire: in these three hundred days, visits to the neighboring country are hardly remembered. On December 5, he was in the Crimea inspecting the damage to the Kerch bridge, driving a Mercedes and surrounded by sympathetic press. For the rest, neither he nor he was in Mariupol when the capture of the city was consummated, nor did they celebrate in Kherson or Zaporizhia the results of their farcical referendums, nor are they reminded of visits to the military deployed in foreign lands. In fact, it took him almost three months to visit a hospital for war wounded… in Moscow.

[Putin y Lukashenko estrechan lazos pero guardan silencio sobre la guerra de Ucrania]

In any case, Putin is free to make his own decisions and, if you need a table several meters high to talk to your interlocutors, it is normal that you need hundreds of kilometers away to direct a military operation. What should not surprise him is that Ukraine is resisting, considering that not even its president acts in fear of threats. Zelensky knows that Russian military intelligence has been trying to kill him for almost a year and is unsuccessful. That they are planted directly in Bakhmut is the umpteenth example of the Russian inability to intimidate anyone.

Russia-Ukraine War

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