The eastern Ukrainian town of Bakhmut is still being fought for, despite weekend reports from Moscow about its capture, writes the Ukrainian General Staff in its morning assessment of the situation on the battlefield. According to Reuters, the head of the Russian mercenary group Wagner said today that his mercenaries will begin to withdraw from Bakhmut after the successful conquest. According to the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW), the Wagnerites apparently succeeded in gaining control of the western tip of Bachmut.
Moscow announced on Saturday that its troops together with the Wagners managed to capture Bakhmut after long months of hard fighting. Prigozhin also spoke about the success, and according to Reuters, he said today that his forces will begin to withdraw from the captured city. The Wagner family will be moving from May 25 to June 1.
ISW analysts have previously stated that the Wagnerites probably exhausted their strength to continue offensive operations beyond Bachmut – for example, the villages of Chromove and Ivanivske on the outskirts of Bachmut. However, in its latest report, the ISW writes that the mercenaries have probably managed to secure the western administrative border of the city, while Ukrainian troops continue counterattacks in the suburbs. According to ISW, Russian control over the majority of western Bakhmut was also indirectly confirmed by Ukrainian officials, according to whom their troops hold an “insignificant” part in the southwest of the city.
“These statements indicate that Ukrainian forces have withdrawn from the remaining areas of Bakhmut except for those adjacent to the two highways leading to the city,” ISW writes. Verified footage from Sunday shows the Wagnerites raising their group’s and Russia’s flags at a house in the westernmost tip of Bachmut, according to the institute.
The current situation on the battlefield cannot be independently verified due to active fighting. The Ukrainian General Staff said today that “fighting for the city of Bakhmut continues”. According to him, Russian forces continue to conduct offensive operations near Bakhmut, but on Sunday they failed to regain the territory south of the village of Ivanivske, which lies west of Bakhmut.
Source: Tyden.cz by www.tyden.cz.
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