Russia has replaced private military units from the Wagner mercenary group with regular troops around Bakhmut. This information was supplied by the Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister, Hanna Maliar, this Thursday (25).
His comments seem to confirm, at least partially, an announcement by Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin that his group had begun withdrawing its forces from Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine and handing over its positions to regular Russian troops.
“On the outskirts of Bakhmut, the enemy replaced Wagner’s units with regular army forces. Within the city itself, Wagner fighters remain,” wrote Maliar in comments on the Telegram app.
Prigozhin said in a video that the withdrawal of his units had started on Thursday and that the delivery of positions would continue until June 1.
Serhiy Cherevatyi, spokesman for Ukraine’s eastern military command, said the number of Russian strikes in the area had dropped in the past three days and there had been two military clashes in the past 24 hours, although shelling continued.
“We can definitely see a reduction in attacks and possibly this is linked to regrouping. Of course we inflicted heavy losses and they need that (to regroup),” he said.
According to Maliar, Russia is also strengthening its positions on Bakhmut’s flanks and shelling Ukrainian forces to try to stop Ukrainian advances north and south of the city.
Prigozhin announced Bakhmut’s capture last week after the longest and bloodiest battle of the war.
Despite the exchange of forces, Russian troops would not be free from losing territory in Bakhmut again. Prigozhin said in an interview with Konstantin Dolgov, a pro-Russian blogger, that Moscow troops are not prepared to resist forces loyal to Kiev even when they enter Russian territory. According to him, a new “revolution” could shake Russia if its war effort in Ukraine continues. The assessment further exposes divisions in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military hierarchy.
(Posted by Fábio Mendes, with information from Reuters)
Source: CNN Brasil
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