Battle For Bakhmut Swinging in Ukraine’s Favor—And Russia Knows It


Ukrainian servicemen prepare a tank at a position near the front line city of Bakhmut, in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, on April 29, 2023. On Wednesday Russia acknowledged that Ukraine had made territorial gains in the battle for Bakhmut.DIMITAR DILKOFF/GETTY IMAGES

Russia has acknowledged that Ukraine has made territorial gains in the battle for Bakhmut, where Kyiv’s forces are said to be advancing on the flanks of the Donetsk city.

The Russian defense ministry said Wednesday that its airborne forces had made marginal advances but acknowledged that Ukraine was continuing its counterattacks near Bohdanivka, three miles to the northwest of the city, and Ivanivske, four miles west.

Pro-Kremlin military analysis channel Rybar called for Russian forces to react to Ukrainian actions, implying that Moscow’s forces are losing the initiative in the Bakhmut area.

“Fierce battles are taking place on the flanks” of Bakhmut, read a post on Telegram by Rybar, “into which both sides are pouring in more and more new forces.”

“Unfortunately, we are in the position of playing along and are following the lead of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, pulling the most experienced units of the Russian forces into the Bakhmut ‘meat grinder,'” the post said.

However, the head of the Wagner Group of mercenaries, Yevgeny Prigozhin, denied the claims of territorial gains by Ukraine and criticized the Russian defense ministry for falsely portraying a retreat as capturing new positions.

Newsweek has reached out to the Russian defense ministry for comment.

Ukrainian Eastern Group of Forces spokesperson, Serhiy Cherevaty, said that Ukrainian troops had advanced up to 500 meters in the direction of Bakhmut in a day, “liberating Ukrainian land,” according to news outlet Suspilnie.

Despite not having an equipment or personnel advantage, “we are beating them,” Cherevaty said Wednesday. “In addition to conducting a successful defensive operation, we’re also attacking the flanks.”

On the same day, Ukrainian deputy defense minister Hanna Maliar said that the Ukrainian military still held a recently liberated 7.7 square miles of land on the outskirts of Bakhmut.

Maliar also reported Ukrainian advances in the area, although she acknowledged that Russian troops had some success inside the city of Bakhmut.

Although Ukraine’s forces have undertaken successful counterattacks around Bakhmut, Russian forces have likely committed to reinforcing their offensive efforts in the area, according to the Institute for the Study of War.

The think tank said Tuesday that this comes “despite an assessed wider effort to reprioritize operations to prepare for potential Ukrainian counteroffensives.”

It comes as Ukraine said its air defenses had successfully shot down 29 Russian missiles, two kamikaze drones, and two reconnaissance drones during an eight-hour barrage from Wednesday night to Thursday morning.

Kyiv was the main target of the attacks, according to Andriy Nebytov, the head of the Kyiv Oblast police, who said there had been no significant damage or casualties.


  1. Somehow, I have the feeling that the real action will take place elsewhere and that Bakhmut is only a prelude to it, a side show.

    • I think you’re right too, Sir Facts, and Bakhmut remains the meat grinder because the rigid Moscow commies will not adapt in theater and will remain focused on Bakhmut. I think we will focus on their main supply line aka Kerch bridge.

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