the battle for bakhmut I have not finished yet. After Wagner’s mercenaries hoisted the Russian flag in the city, Ukraine claims it still controls a small sector in the southwest, while fighting continues on the flanks.
“Our troops in Bakhmut control some infrastructure and housing area of Litak area (southwest). Fighting continues,” said Hanna Malyar, deputy defense minister of Ukraine, on her Telegram channel.
Meanwhile, Russian public television compared the taking of the Ukrainian stronghold to the taking of Berlin in 1945 by the Soviet Army and harangued Russian troops to continue advancing into the Donbass. But Russian military bloggers do not share that optimism, aware that it is a symbolic victory, but a pyrrhic one, given the high cost of nearly ten months of fighting.
If there was a bit of confusion in the early hours, the message is now clear in Kiev. On the one hand, the battle is not over yet, as Ukrainian troops control several residential and industrial buildings, as well as infrastructure in the southwest of the city in the Donetsk region.
On the other hand, Malyar stressed that “the defense of Bakhmut as a city has fully fulfilled its mission”, as the Russian offensive potential “has been significantly reduced” due to the “great losses” suffered.
The southwest of the city is connected to the two main roads leading to Bakhmut, routes through which Kiev could send reinforcements and evacuate the last defenders of the region.
In turn, the Deputy Minister of Defense stressed that the fighting for the highest areas on Bakhmut’s flanks, which guarantee an advantageous firing position for whoever controls them, continue in the northern and southern suburbs of the city.
Our fighters do not give the enemy the opportunity to gain positions there. The enemy is deploying additional forces and equipment, he stressed.
According to the Institute on the Study of War (ISW), the russian army will need reinforcements to hold her hips, something she’s already doing, according to Malyar.
Retreat of the Wagner group
Having achieved the military goal marked in red since mid-2022, Wagner’s boss Yevgueni Prigozhin assured this Monday that their units will withdraw from Bakhmut before 1 June.
“On the western limits (of the city) defensive positions have been created, for which the Wagner Group will leave Artiomovsk (Russian name for Bakhmut) from May 25 to June 1,” he said on his Telegram channel.
Prigozhin added that “if the Ministry of Defense does not have enough troops (to defend Bakhmut), there are thousands of generals, you can form a regiment of generals, give each one a rifle and everything will be fine.”
Wagner’s boss confirmed the statements of Denis Pushilin, the acting leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, annexed by Russia, about the start of work demining in the city.
According to the ISW, Wagner has exhausted his resources and abilities launch an offensive against the Ukrainian strongholds of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, located in the heart of Donbass, a view shared by Russian bloggers.
Tensions have also increased at the border. According to the governor of the Belgorod region, Viacheslav Gladkov, “a group of saboteurs from the Armed Forces of Ukraine” entered Russian territory.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said Russian President Vladimir Putin had been notified of the raid.
“We fully understand that the purpose of these sabotage actions is to divert attention away from the Bakhmut front and minimize the political effect of the Ukrainian side’s loss of Artiomovsk (Russian name for Bakhmut),” Peskov said at a news conference.
A representative of the Military Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine told the press that they are behind these attacks two groups of Russian volunteers fighting against the Kremlin: the Russian Volunteer Corps and the Freedom Legion for Russia.
The main goal of those raids would be to create a “safe zone” that would protect Ukrainian civilians from Russian bombing.
“Ukraine is following the events in the Belgorod region of Russia with interest and is studying a situation with which we have no direct relationship. As you know, tanks are sold on any Russian military market. After all, partisan units are made up of Russian citizens,” Mikhailo Podolyak, a Ukrainian presidential adviser, said on Twitter.
Mary Ortiz is a seasoned journalist with a passion for world events. As a writer for News Rebeat, she brings a fresh perspective to the latest global happenings and provides in-depth coverage that offers a deeper understanding of the world around us.