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Military official: Ukrainian forces advance on Bakhmut flanks despite Russia's 'fierce resistance'

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 15, 2023 10:15 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian soldiers conduct operation with BMP-3 military vehicle at training camp amid Russia-Ukraine war in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on May 11, 2023. (Vincenzo Circosta/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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In the past two days, Ukraine's Armed Forces have advanced on the flanks around Bakhmut from 350 meters to 2 kilometers "in some places," a spokesperson for the Ukrainian military's Eastern Operational Command said on May 15.

"However, the enemy is fiercely resisting," Serhii Cherevatyi said on national television, as cited by Interfax Ukraine.

According to the official, 34 combat clashes occurred in the Bakhmut area over the previous 24 hours, with Russian forces firing at Ukrainian positions 479 times. During this period, the Ukrainian military reportedly killed 149 Russian soldiers, wounded 160, and captured six more in the fighting over Ukraine's key eastern city.

"In fact, Bakhmut is now a bifurcation point, a point of resolution of this conflict, because if the enemy does not find an opportunity to replenish its forces there, then we will simply destroy it," added Cherevatyi.

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…

Ukrainian forces have recently retaken more than 10 Russian-held positions on the northern and southern outskirts of Bakhmut, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said on May 14.

Recent failures around Bakhmut are likely connected with the escalating feud between the Russian Defense Ministry and Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenary group, which has led the assault on Bakhmut for months.

While Wagner leads the attacks inside the city, which have themselves stalled, the flanks where Ukrainian forces have advanced are manned by regular army units.

The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed a renewed wave of Ukrainian counterattacks on May 14 and admitted that two colonels – including a brigade commander – were recently killed in the Battle of Bakhmut.

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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