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Defense Ministry: Russian regular army replaces Wagner units in Bakhmut outskirts

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 25, 2023 2:33 PM 2 min read
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Russia's regular army has replaced Wagner forces in the suburbs of Bakhmut, but mercenaries still remain in the city, Ukraine's Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said on May 25.

Earlier the same day, Wagner Group head Yevgeny Prigozhin said his fighters had started leaving Bakhmut for rear camps to "rest and retrain." He said they would withdraw from the city before June 1.

Prigozhin claimed full control over the embattled city of Bakhmut on May 20, which Ukraine later denied. In her May 25 Telegram post, Maliar reiterated her statement that Ukrainian forces still controlled a portion of the southwestern area of the city.

Wagner a ‘shadow of what it once was’: Russia security expert on the rage of mercenary boss Prigozhin
After seeming to have calmed down over early spring, the internal conflict between Wagner mercenary group boss Yevgeny Prigozhin and the Russian Defense Ministry has escalated dramatically. In the early morning of May 5, Prigozhin recorded a video in front of what he claimed to be the bodies of doz…

However, as reported by the Kyiv Independent on May 22, it is evident that Bakhmut had effectively been occupied by Russian troops, based on both official statements and those made by soldiers on the ground to the Kyiv Independent.

Ukrainian forces are still reportedly engaged in combat around Bakhmut.

According to Maliar, Russian troops continue their attempts to strengthen their positions on the flanks of Bakhmut's suburbs, deploying additional units for reinforcement.

Over the past day, Ukraine's military has repelled Russian attacks in the Avdiivka and Marinka areas in Donetsk Oblast, said the official.

Meanwhile, in the Kupiansk area, Kharkiv Oblast, Russian forces are trying to gain a foothold for further advances but are "suffering losses," she added.

This Week in Ukraine Ep. 7 – Why Russia relies on private militaries, like Wagner, for its war effort
“This Week in Ukraine” is a video podcast hosted by Kyiv Independent’s reporter Anastasiia Lapatina. Every week, Anastasiia sits down with her newsroom colleagues to discuss Ukraine’s most pressing issues. Episode #7 is dedicated to Russian private military companies, how they operate, and the role…
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