kyiv/Moscow, (BLAZETRENDS).- The battle for Bakhmut has not yet ended. After Wagner’s mercenaries raised the Russian flag in the city, Ukraine says it still controls a small sector in the southwest, while fighting continues on the flanks.
“Our troops in Bakhmut control some infrastructure and the housing area of the Litak area (southwest). The fighting continues,” Hanna Malyar, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister, said on her Telegram channel.
Meanwhile, Russian public television compared the conquest of the Ukrainian stronghold with the capture of Berlin in 1945 by the Soviet Army and harangued Russian troops to continue advancing in Donbas, an optimism not shared by Russian military bloggers, aware that it is of a symbolic victory, but pyrrhic, given the high cost of almost ten months of fighting.
Ukraine does not throw in the towel
If there was some confusion in the early hours, kyiv is now clear on the message. On the one hand, the battle is not yet over, 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, Malyar stressed that “the defense of Bakhmut as a city fully fulfilled its mission”, since 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 kyiv could both send reinforcements and evacuate the city’s last defenders.
In turn, the Deputy Defense Minister stressed that the fighting for the highest areas on the flanks of Bakhmut, which give an advantageous firing position to whoever controls them, continues 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 for the Study of War (ISW), the Russian Army will need reinforcements to hold the flanks, which it is already doing, according to Malyar.
Wagner leaves the front
After achieving the military objective marked in red since mid-2022, Wagner’s chief Yevgeny Prigozhin assured today that his units will withdraw from Bakhmut before June 1.
“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, interim leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, annexed by Russia, about the start of demining work in the city.
According to the ISW, Wagner has exhausted his resources and his ability to launch an offensive against the Ukrainian strongholds of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, located in the very heart of Donbas, a view shared by Russian bloggers.
Raids on the Russian border
Tensions also soared at the border. According to the governor of the Belgorod region, Viacheslav Gladkov, “a group of saboteurs from the Ukrainian Armed Forces” entered Russian territory.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin was informed of the raid.
“We fully understand that the aim of these sabotage actions is to divert attention from the Bakhmut front and to minimize the political effect of the loss of Artiomovsk (Russian name for Bakhmut) by the Ukrainian side,” Peskov told a press conference.
A representative of Ukraine’s Directorate of Military Intelligence told reporters that behind these attacks are two groups of Russian volunteers fighting against the Kremlin: the Russian Volunteer Corps and the Freedom for Russia Legion.
The main goal of these raids would be to create a “security zone” that would protect Ukrainian civilians from Russian bombing.
“Ukraine is following the events in the Russian Belgorod region with interest and is studying a situation with which we have no direct relationship. As is known, tanks are sold in any Russian military market. After all, the partisan units are made up of Russian citizens,” Mikhailo Podolyak, a Ukrainian presidential adviser, commented on Twitter.
The entry The battle for Bakhmut has not yet ended, according to Ukraine was first published in BLAZETRENDS Noticias.