05/18/2023 – Translated from Ukrainian via Google and OFP
The Ukrainian Defense Forces extended limited counterattacks near Bakhmut on 17 May. The defenders advanced in this direction for 500 meters, striking at the flanks of the Russian troops.
This was pointed out at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). Analysts stressed that the success of the Ukrainian forces near the fortress city was recognized even in the aggressor country of the Russian Federation.
AFU counterattacks near Bakhmut
So, the day before, Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Anna Malyar said that Ukrainian units were advancing in undefined areas on the flanks of Bakhmut. And the speaker of the Eastern Group of Forces of Ukraine, Colonel Serhiy Cherevaty, added that in a day the Armed Forces of Ukraine advanced up to 500 meters in the Bakhmut direction and continue to attack the flanks of the Russian Armed Forces.
At that time, the Russian Ministry of Defense claimed that the airborne forces of the Russian Federation “achieved little progress”, but acknowledged the continuation of Ukrainian counterattacks against the flanks of the invaders near Bogdanovka (5 km northwest of Bakhmut) and Ivanovskoye (6 km west).
Wagnerite leader Yevgeny Prigozhin denied the Russian agency’s claim of territorial gains, but at the same time criticized it for misrepresenting the retreat as the capture of new positions.
One of the Russian bloggers complained that the Russian forces now have to react to the actions of Ukraine, meaning that they are losing the initiative in the Bakhmut area.
Actions of the RF Armed Forces around Bakhmut
At the same time, Russian troops on May 17 continued their attempts to capture the city in the Donetsk region. Analysts cited geolocation footage allegedly showing that Wagner PMC mercenaries were gradually advancing in the southwestern part of Bakhmut.
One of the Russian bloggers stated that the Russian troops made an unsuccessful ground attack to the west of Bakhmut near Ivanovsky (6 km to the west), but “moved” to the north-west of the city in the area of the Bakhmut-Khromovo, Orekhovo-Vasilevka highway (11 km north) west) and Minkovka (13 km northwest).
Another propagandist claimed that the “Wagnerites” in general “completed the capture” of the fortified area of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in western Bakhmut and began to “put pressure on the Ukrainian forces” in the nearby combat zone.
Prigozhin had said the day before that his mercenaries had advanced 200 meters and that the Ukrainian Defense Forces controlled “only 1.46 square kilometers of territory in Bakhmut.” On May 17, Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Anna Malyar only confirmed that the occupiers were gradually advancing in the city.
As OBOZREVATEL reported, after the successful counterattacks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine around Bakhmut, the invaders began to try to strengthen tactical offensive operations. Russian troops strengthened their forces in the area of the city to allegedly stabilize the situation.
Maxar Technologies showed what kind of ruins the Russian army turned Bakhmut into during a year of fighting. Satellite photos of the city were published.
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