Russia shelled heavily, and hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers could be trapped in the Bakhmut tunnel

Hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers may be trapped in tunnels in the industrial area of ​​Bakhmut, which is surrounded by Russian forces.

The Rossiskaya Gazeta (RG) and Pravda newspapers reported that Ukrainian forces are in the basement of the Vostokmash building in the Artyomovsk metallurgical plant (AZOM) area north of Bakhmut.

RG quoted from the Military Chronicle’s Telegram channel as saying that at least 300 Ukrainian soldiers are in the network of tunnels below this plant. The RG confirmed that the total number of Ukrainian forces, including units from the armed forces, national guard forces, and territorial defense brigades in this region “about 500 people”.

According to the source, the Ukrainian military controls positions at the nearby Makiivka metallurgical plant, which also has underground networks.

Russian military source Alexander Simonov announced on Telegram that Wagner forces, a private Russian military organization, attacked several AZOM tunnels.

An open-source intelligence monitoring account also revealed that Wagner forces are believed to have carried out an attack on the tunnel complex below AZOM. “The tunnels below the factory are at least 320m deep with many tunnels similar to the Azovstal factory in Mariupol,” the account commented.

Last year, Russia surrounded the Azovstal metallurgical plant for a month before the Ukrainian soldiers surrendered. Ukrainian soldiers have been hiding in fortified tunnels built beneath Azovstal for a long time.

AZOM, one of the largest non-ferrous metal factories of the former Soviet Union, is also fortified against outside attacks like Azovstal. AZOM is said to be able to survive even in a nuclear conflict with an underground communications system that has its own water source and generator.

According to observers, fighting under this area is very challenging because it is located 350m deep underground, making the use of artillery and grenade launchers inside quite risky because it can collapse the structure below. ground.

Although gaining complete control of this underground area is difficult, Russia cannot ignore this goal. AZOM has a network of links with other regions of Bakhmut. If Ukraine still controls the factory, they will have the ability to surprise counterattack on the position that Russia is holding.

Western intelligence reports that Ukrainian soldiers are reinforcing defensive positions at AZOM in an effort to draw Wagner forces here to prolong the war that drains the opponent’s resources and weapons.

Bakhmut is currently the fiercest fighting front in Ukraine. Both Russia and Ukraine suffered serious losses because they mobilized resources to fight each other for every meter of land in this pan of fire.

Although Russia has begun to close the siege of Bakhmut from all directions and Wagner claims control of the eastern part of the city, Ukraine has insisted that it has no intention of withdrawing, emphasizing that it wants to use the Battle of Bakhmut to drain its forces. the opponent’s elite. 

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