NEW YORK, February 14. /TASS/. The ban on civilian and volunteer access to Artyomovsk (known as Bakhmut in Ukraine) imposed by Kiev on Monday could be a prelude to a Ukrainian withdrawal from the city, the New York Times reported.
According to the newspaper, the decision to ban civilians from entering the city may suggest that the Ukrainian military cannot secure even areas in the city that had been considered relatively safe before, such as districts on the western bank of the Bakhmutka River.
The New York Times quoted the Russian Defense Ministry as saying that the village of Krasnaya Gora, lying north of Artyomovsk, had been taken by Russian troops.
Ukraine’s Klymenko Time news outlet reported on Sunday, citing a Ukrainian commander who goes under the nickname of Madyar, that the military would close access to Artyomovsk for all civilians, including volunteers, starting on Monday. Only those having a special permit will be able to enter the city, the news outlet added. According to it, the ban is needed to guarantee security to civilians.