Russia’s poor fighting capability in the fraying battles in the Bakhmut area makes Moscow’s forces vulnerable to Ukrainian attacks. This was underlined by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in its report today on the war in Ukraine.
“The apparent employment by the Russian military command of elements of a formation that suffered two consecutive defeats on the Bakhmut axis, together with elements of the already worn-out Wagner group, probably gives the Ukrainian forces opportunities for success in limited counterattacks,” say analysts at the American think tank, referring to “video footage released on May 9 and 10, showing that Ukrainian forces likely conducted successful limited counterattacks north of the village of Khromovye (west of Bakhmut) and northwest of Bila Hora (south-west of Bakhmut) and have achieved minor successes in these areas”.
“Ukrainian sources said on May 9 that Ukrainian forces destroyed the 6th and 8th companies of the 72nd motorized rifle brigade of the Third Army Corps near Bakhmut and advanced 2.6 kilometers along a front line”.
US SOURCES: “WAGNER STILL HAS AMMUNITION IN BAKHMUT” – The ‘Politico’ website, quoting two senior US officials, writes that “forces affiliated with Wagner, Russia’s main paramilitary organization, continue to hold most of the territory in the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut and possess significant ammunition stockpiles despite some losses”.
Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin appeared in a series of social media videos on Monday threatening to withdraw his soldiers entirely from Bakhmut due to ammunition shortages. Later, he said the Russian Defense Ministry had given assurances that he would send additional resources to the front lines.
The statements sparked speculation that Wagner’s fighters could soon abandon Bakhmut altogether, potentially creating an opening for advancing Ukrainian forces.