MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. Retired Lieutenant-Colonel Andrey Marochko of the Lugansk People’s Republic on Wednesday said that Ukrainian forces won’t be able to make an orderly retreat from Artyomovsk, known in Ukraine as Bakhmut, as all roads from the town are under the control of Russian artillery.
"The situation [in Artyomovsk] is very difficult for Ukrainian servicemen because our soldiers have already moved around the settlement’s flanks. Moreover, I want to remark that they [the Ukrainian forces] have a chance, let’s say, to flee, rather than plan a retreat, because all the roads that lead to the settlement are shelled by our troops. And they are, as they say, closely watched by our reconnaissance units," he said on Channel One.
Marochko noted that military equipment continues to arrive to the eastern flank of the line of contact almost daily.
"Literally last night another column was spotted moving from Izyum to the south. It included both motor vehicles and wheeled ones. Vehicles carried ammunition in their cargo area. Also, howitzers were spotted being towed. They were most likely Soviet ones, but that’s not certain because they were covered," he said.
Marochko said ammunition and equipment are promptly discovered as they make their way along supply routes and are subjected to artillery strikes.
Fierce battles are raging in the area of Artyomovsk. Denis Pushilin, the interim head of the Donetsk People’s Republic, said earlier that Russian forces were working steadily to cut off supply routes for Ukrainian troops in the area and make a pincer movement. He also said fighting has reached the town’s outskirts, including neighborhoods that had just recently been held by Ukrainian units.