Russian attempt to capture Bakhmut stalls, focus shifts to Avdiyivka
British intelligence said that the Russian offensive on Bakhmut had almost stopped (Photo:Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty/Serhii Nuzhnenko via REUTERS)
The Russian offensive at Bakhmut has come to a near halt, likely due to the exhaustion of Russian forces, but not without significant losses being suffered by Ukraine in the city’s defense, UK Defense Intelligence wrote on Twitter in their March 23 daily summary.
“The Russian situation has also likely been made worse by tensions between the Russian Ministry of Defense and Wagner Group, both of whom contribute troops in the sector,” the summary said.
UK intelligence said Russia is believed to have redirected its operational focus towards Avdiyivka, further to the south in Donetsk Oblast, as well as the Kreminna-Svatove sector to the north in Luhansk Oblast.
The UK agency interprets this as a sign of a shift towards a more defensive operational plan, following Russia’s unsuccessful attempts to launch an all-out offensive since January 2023.
Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Hanna Malyar, reported on March 14 that the Ukrainian army had had “some significant successes” in the northern area of Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast.
She said that a significant number of enemy forces have been eliminated in Bakhmut, resulting in a decrease in their offensive capabilities.
In early March all members of Ukraine’s High Command supported the continued defense of Bakhmut.
General Oleksandr Syrskyi, the commander of the Ground Forces, has since said that the situation in Bakhmut remains difficult, as the fighters of the Russian Wagner private mercenary company are attempting to penetrate the central areas of the city.
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