Putin: West is Using Ukrainians as 'Cannon Fodder,' as Fighting Rages in Bakhmut
The eastern Donetsk city has seen some of the war's most intense fighting
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Russian President Vladimir Putin, once again, accused the West of using Ukrainian troops as cannon fodder as some of the war’s most intense fighting rages in Bakhmut, an eastern city in Donetsk.
Putin said the West is fighting for global domination but acknowledged that Russia will have to make a deal vis-a-vis Ukraine at some point. He said he is concerned that countries like Germany and France, which would likely help broker any deals, may not be trust worthy. (SEE: Merkel Admits that the Minsk Agreements Were a Ruse.)
“The question of trust arises. And trust of course is almost at zero... But nevertheless, in the final analysis we have to come to agreements. I have already said many times that we are ready for these agreements,” Putin said in a video message, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, the fighting playing out in the city has been compared to how forces used to square off in WWI. The Financial Times described one of the scenes:
“Then came the Russian infantry, charging in a first world war-style attack across a no man’s land of shredded trees and artillery craters. The Ukrainians popped up and mowed down many of them with machine guns and grenade launchers. Moments later, the scenes were repeated — although this time the Russian fighters had to navigate their comrades’ bodies. Again many were cut down by Ukrainian bullets.
“It’s like a conveyor belt,” Kostyantyn, an exhausted Ukrainian machine-gunner who described the scene to the Financial Times, said of the Russian tactics. “For what? A fucking metre of our land.”
The city is considered to be located at a valuable location and has been fortified by Ukrainian troops. Both Russia and Ukraine have been tight lipped about their casualties in the city, but The Wall Street Journal said hospitals have been inundated with Ukrainian casualties.
Ukrainian troops and civilians have taken to social media to post images from the city that show gutted buildings and charred homes.
Sky News noted that Bakhumt has been called a meat grinder because of the “huge and growing number of casualties.”
Putin also said in the video that Russia may look into updating its nuclear policy and take a new look at the possibility of a preventive nuclear first strike to disarm an opponent to its military doctrine, Bloomberg reported.
“We’re thinking about this,” he said. “If we are talking about a disarming strike, perhaps we should think about using the approaches of our American partners.”