Russian forces lose their initiative in Bakhmut area – ISW

18 MAY 2023

Russian troops are losing the initiative in the Bakhmut area despite the limited nature of the defenders’ counterattacks.

SourceISW report

Details: The report said that Russian and Ukrainian officials acknowledged that limited Ukrainian counterattacks near Bakhmut were continuing on 17 May.

Notably, Hanna Maliar, Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister, stated that Ukrainian troops are advancing on unidentified fronts on the flanks of Bakhmut. At the same time, Serhii Cherevatyi, spokesman for the Skhid (East) Group of Forces, said that the defenders had advanced by up to 500 metres on the Bakhmut front over the 24 hours and were continuing to advance on the Russians’ flanks.

The Russian Defence Ministry also stated that the Russian Airborne Forces (VDV) had achieved a slight advance, but recognised that Ukraine is continuing with its counterattacks on the flanks of Bakhmut in the area of Bohdanivka (5 km northwest of Bakhmut) and Ivanivske (6 km west of Bakhmut).

Yevgeny Prigozhin, Financier of Wagner Private Military Company, denied the Defence Ministry’s statement about territorial gains and criticised them for falsely presenting the retreat as a capturing of new positions.

“One prominent milblogger complained that Russian forces must now react to Ukrainian actions, implying that Russian forces are losing the initiative in the Bakhmut area despite the limited nature of Ukrainian counterattacks in the area,” the ISW report said.

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  1. The AFU is accomplishing tasks in mere days that took the cockroach army weeks and months to do, and this despite being out maned and outgunned. I’m looking forward to the real counteroffensive.

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