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Official: Ukrainian defenders control southwestern Bakhmut, advance in city's outskirts

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 18, 2023 9:16 PM 2 min read
A Ukrainian tank opens fire on targets to support infantry units on the frontlines amid the Russia-Ukraine war in Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on April 17, 2023. (Photo by Muhammed Enes Yildirim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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As of now, Ukrainian forces control the southwestern part of Donetsk Oblast's Bakhmut, Ukraine's Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said on May 18.

In the past day, Ukrainian troops have made localized advances south and north of the city, in some areas by up to one kilometer, according to Maliar.

Russia's military "was attacking Bakhmut all day today," having moved most of its reserves into Bakhmut and strengthened its grouping, the official said. Ukrainian soldiers reportedly repelled all the attacks.

In the southern outskirts of Bakhmut, Russian troops were conducting offensive actions trying to regain the lost territories, but suffered losses and failed, added Maliar.

Earlier the same day, Ukraine's Third Assault Brigade reported making a breakthrough in the western outskirts of Bakhmut, which gave them a foothold "for a further counteroffensive."

In recent days, Ukrainian forces have reportedly recaptured some territory on the outskirts of Bakhmut, but Russian troops have advanced inside the city.

Russia's 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, 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. 1 – Why does Ukraine keep up costly defense of Bakhmut?
“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 #1 is dedicated to Ukraine’s military strategy in Bakhmut, an embattled city in Donet…
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