On May 12, geolocated footage emerged showing Russian forces retreating under heavy artillery fire on the southern bank of the Berkhivske Reservoir, located about four kilometers northwest of Bakhmut.
The Institute for the Study of War said in its latest assessment that this footage provides visual confirmation of reports made by Russian military bloggers that Ukrainian forces have made gains in the area between the settelents of Bohdanivka and Berkhivka.
One military blogger claimed that elements of the 200th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade from the 14th Army Corps of the Northern Fleet lost their positions between Hryhorivka and Dubovo-Vasylivka, about 6km northwest of Bakhmut.
Russian sources also warned of possible encirclement of the Wagner Group within Bakhmut, with Ukrainian forces approaching Berkhivka and reportedly holding positions within 500 meters of the city limits.
Other Russian milbloggers reported counterattacks by Ukrainian troops towards Khromove, Bohdanivka, and Klishchiivka. However, the Russian Ministry of Defense rejected these reports, claiming instead that elements of the 4th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade from the Luhansk People's Republic and the 200th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade from the 14th Army Corps of the Northern Fleet had repelled all attacks in the Berkhivka area, citing the favorable conditions of the Berkhivske Reservoir.