A Ukrainian soldier fires a rocket launcher at Russian positions near Bakhmut. © Efrem Lukatsky/dpa
Out of control: during the retreat from Bakhmut, Prigozhin's Wagner group suffers heavy losses. Because Ukraine's counteroffensive is overrunning them.
Bakhmut - Chaos instead of controlled surrender: After the proclamation of victory in Bakhmut, the Wagner group of mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin withdraws from the battlefield. Gradually, Russia's regular army is to gain sovereignty over the region. But the withdrawal of troops suffers a serious setback. After all, Ukraine's counteroffensive, which has begun, is causing problems for the mercenaries. The situation in the embattled region remains opaque.
Ukraine war: Wagner Group suffers heavy losses in Bakhmut retreat
According to its own statements, Ukraine has inflicted heavy losses on the Wagner group of mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin as it retreats from the embattled city of Bakhmut. 80 fighters are said to have been killed and 119 wounded, Ukrainian army spokesman Serhii Cherevatyi said on Wednesday (31 May), according to Newsweek. Although clashes in the city in the eastern Donetsk region have decreased significantly in the Ukraine war, fighting continues.
Withdrawal from Bakhmut: Prigozhin wants to hand over control to Russia
Ukraine once again contradicted reports that the city of Bakhmut is now completely under Russian control. Wagner boss Prigozhin had announced the victory in several video messages. At the same time, he announced that his group would withdraw from the region on May 25 and that the Russian army would take control. According to the information, the withdrawal should be completed by June 1 so that the troops in the rear can recover and redeploy, Prigozhin said.
It is considered certain that the Wagner Group suffered heavy losses as a result of the fighting in the strategically unimportant region around Bakhmut. Just recently, US President Joe Biden put the number of fighters killed and injured on the Russian side at 100,000. The Wagner Group itself spoke of lower figures. Prigozhin revealed in an interview that he had recruited around 50,000 prisoners for the battle for Bakhmut, 20 percent of whom had fallen. He blamed the Kremlin and the Ministry of Defense for the high losses, which had left him hanging when supplies of soldiers and ammunition.
Prigozhin declares victory in Bakhmut - Ukraine contradicts
Much of the information cannot be independently verified in the Ukraine war. The Ukrainian government of Volodymyr Zelensky regularly contradicts reports that the region around Bakhmut has been abandoned by the army. According to the media report, the army spokesman said that the number of battles for Bakhmut had decreased, but there were still clashes. In the recent fighting, the Ukrainian Armed Forces destroyed an infantry fighting vehicle, a drone, an anti-aircraft gun, two other vehicles and five ammunition depots.
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"We managed to break their combat potential, we managed to destroy the Wagner criminal group," Cherevatyi said. Prigozhin's song of jubilation over a victory was in fact a capitulation. "Prigozhin flees, leaving Bakhmut to preserve the remnants of his group."
War against Russia: Ukraine attacks behind the front line in counteroffensive
In fact, in the war against Russia, Ukraine has begun its long-awaited counteroffensive. Equipped with many Western tanks and rocket launchers, the attackers are to be pushed back in the summer. Especially with the help of new cruise missile systems, the armed forces can attack far beyond the previous front line. (jkf)