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UK Defense Ministry: Russia 'likely less flexible in reacting to operational challenges' after Bakhmut

by The Kyiv Independent news desk June 3, 2023 12:02 PM 1 min read
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Russia is "likely to be less flexible in reacting to operational challenges" after suffering heavy casualties and enormous weapon expenditure in Bakhmut, the U.K. Defense Ministry said on June 3.

The Russian "elite" airborne forces are much degraded compared to the pre-war level, and while Russia has likely kept some "relatively capable units as an uncommitted reserve," Russia's reaction to unexpected battlefield changes has slowed down, according to the U.K. Defense Ministry.

In the Bakhmut sector, Russia is redeploying regular units as the Wagner mercenary forces complete their planned withdrawal to rear areas of the city, the ministry added.

The report comes two weeks after the Russian Defense Ministry and Wagner claimed victory in Bakhmut.

While Ukrainian authorities have rejected the Russian claims thus far, Ukrainian commanders and soldiers fighting in the Bakhmut area told the Kyiv Independent this week that the city had fallen to Russia around the time Moscow announced its capture.

Russian airborne forces have played "an increasingly important role" in Bakhmut, the U.K. Defense Ministry said, with parts of the 76th and 106th divisions and two additional separate airborne brigades newly deployed in the city's area.

Ukrainian forces are now actively working on the flanks of Bakhmut, commanders and soldiers say, with Kyiv saying that it envisions encircling the city.

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