Despite Ukraine's successful counterattacks around Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast, Russian forces have likely committed to reinforcing their offensive efforts in the area, the Institute of the Study of War said in its latest update.
The D.C.-based think tank cited Russian proxy leader in Donetsk Oblast Denis Pushilin who claimed on May 16 that Russian forces had "strengthened their forces in the Bakhmut area to stabilize the situation."
A prominent Russian military blogger also claimed that four unspecified Russian battalions had deployed to Bakhmut, the ISW reported.
In the past several days, Ukrainian forces have recaptured about 20 square kilometers in the northern and southern outskirts of Bakhmut, Ukraine's Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said on May 16.
The day before Maliar reported that Russian forces were deploying additional airborne forces to defend Bakhmut’s flanks, the ISW said.
In Bakhmut itself, Russian troops have "somewhat" advanced, moving units of "professional paratroopers" into the city, Maliar also said on May 16.