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ISW

ISW
@TheStudyofWar

Jan 22
5 tweets
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While the costs associated with Ukraine’s defense of Bakhmut are significant & likely include opportunity costs related to potential Ukrainian counter-offensive operations elsewhere, Ukraine would also have paid a significant price for allowing Russian troops to take it easily.🧵

ISW

ISW
@TheStudyofWar

Ukraine's defense of #Bakhmut is likely a strategically sound effort despite its costs for #Ukraine. The costs associated with Ukraine’s continued defense of Bakhmut are significant, but Ukraine would also have paid a significant price for giving it up. isw.pub/UkrWar012123
2/ #Bakhmut itself is not operationally or strategically significant but had Russian troops taken it relatively rapidly and cheaply they could have hoped to expand operations in ways that could have forced #Ukraine to construct hasty defensive positions in less favorable terrain.
3/ One must also not dismiss the seemingly “political” calculus of committing to the defense of #Bakhmut lightly—Russian forces occupy over 100K sq km of Ukrainian territory including multiple Ukrainian cities & are inflicting atrocities on Ukrainian civilians in occupied areas.
4/ It is not unreasonable for political and military leaders to weigh these factors in determining whether to hold or cede particular population concentrations.
5/ Americans have not had to make such choices since 1865 and should not be quick to scorn considerations that would be very real to them were American cities facing such threats. isw.pub/UkrWar012123
ISW

ISW

@TheStudyofWar
The Institute for the Study of War is a policy research organization focused on U.S. national security. | press@understandingwar.org
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