Improved cooperation helping Russia ramp up offensive in Bakhmut, UK intel
Ukrainian military near Bakhmut, April 10, 2023 (Photo:REUTERS/Oleksandr Klymenko)
Russia has intensified its offensive on Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, due to "improved cooperation" between the Russian Defense Ministry forces and Wagner PMC units, said a UK intelligence report dated April 14.
British Defense Intelligence says that over the past 48 hours, Russians have been intensively shelling Ukrainian military positions with artillery. Defenders continue to hold the western districts of the city, despite the increased shelling.
"Wagner assault groups continue to conduct the main advance through the centre of town, while Russian airborne forces (VDV) have relieved some Wagner units in securing the northern and southern flanks of the operation," British intel writes.
Ukrainian soldiers are facing "significant issues" in resupplying ammunition and "have made orderly withdrawals from the positions they have been forced to concede."
Ukrainian troops in Bakhmut are holding the line and destroying Russia’s so-called "elite" troops — paratroopers who were deployed to reinforce Wagner mercenaries, said Serhiy Cherevatyi, spokesman for the Eastern Group of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
"They are forced to strengthen," Cherevatyi stated said on national television.
“They use regular army units, primarily the Russian airborne forces. They call them elite, but our soldiers downgrade their elitism every day, they have done it more than once in different areas.”
Ukraine’s Armed Forces repel up to 50 storming attempts by the Russian military every day in Bakhmut, and in two weeks Russia has lost almost 4,500 Wagner fighters and regular soldiers killed and wounded in the area, said the Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff.
Russians have switched to the "Syrian" scorched earth tactics in the area and are already engaging special forces amid heavy losses, said Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, Commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who regularly works with units in Bakhmut.
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