Ukrainian commander says Wagner Group fighters were the first to flee in Bakhmut

12 MAY 2023


A Ukrainian commander of the 1st Assault Battalion of the 3rd Assault Brigade has said that during a successful Ukrainian assault operation in Bakhmut, Wagner Group mercenaries were the first to flee, while servicemen from the Russian army attempted to fight back. This contradicts the claims made by Wagner financier Yevgeny Prigozhin.


Details: CNN reported that Ukrainian forces were able to retake several positions in the eastern city of Bakhmut, in Donetsk Oblast.

Commander of the 1st Assault Battalion with a call-sign Rollo told CNN that Wagner Group owner Yevgeny Prigozhin lied about servicemen from the Russian army being the first to flee their positions in Bakhmut. According to Rollo, Wagner Group fighters fled first.

Quote: “Prigozhin is a liar. Because the first to flee were Wagner [Group fighters – ed.]…Actually, the [Russian Armed Forces’] unit he’s bad mouthing fought to the end,” Rollo said.

He explained that Ukraine had planned the operation he was talking about in advance and that the weather allowed the Ukrainian troops to deploy all the weapons and equipment they needed.

The commander said that the Russians’ reserves were positioned too far to be deployed in time, which allowed the Ukrainians to push invaders’ forces back, with Russians losing 200 to 300 soldiers in action.

Background: The 3rd Assault Brigade is currently undertaking combat operations on the Bakhmut front as part of Tactical Group A.

Besides troops from the 3rd Assault Brigade, Tactical Group A comprises other special units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Andrii Biletskyi is the group’s commander.

Tactical Group A personnel have been fighting Russian forces on the Bakhmut front for several months.

More background:

  • On 5 May, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Wagner Group, a private military company, published a letter to the Russian Defence Ministry, stating that he will withdraw the Wagner Group mercenaries from Bakhmut after 10 May. Prigozhin said that the Defence Ministry did not supply his forces with sufficient ammunition and he did not want his fighters to be “doomed to a senseless death”.
  • On 9 May, Prigozhin said that the Russian army left some of their positions in Bakhmut and “exposed” part of the front, which had to be covered by Wagner Group fighters. He gave an ultimatum to the Russian Defence Ministry and the General Staff: if his mercenaries are not given ammunition, they will leave their positions. 
  • On 12 May, Prigozhin invited Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu to visit Bakhmut. “In light of the complicated operational circumstances, and your years of experience in combat, I invite you to visit the city of Bakhmut, which is controlled by Russian paramilitary units, to personally assess the situation on the ground,” Prigozhin wrote.

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  1. “Prigozhin is a liar.”

    That’s like saying the night is dark, water is wet, or crap stinks … it’s just too obvious. The rest of the crime gang in mafia land are also pitiful liars. Maybe that’s why the trumpet loves them so much.

    • This was another strategic success of Putler’s, by pitting all these factions against each other, he’s making sure there will be no coup, but it will also help Ukraine enormously.

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