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UK Defense Ministry: Russia’s assault on Bakhmut ‘has largely stalled’
Russia’s downshift in Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, results from extreme attrition of the Russian forces and tensions between the Russian Defense Ministry and the state-backed paramilitary Wagner Group, the U.K. Defense Ministry wrote in its March 25 intelligence update.
Ukrainian forces have also suffered heavy casualties in the area, according to the report.
Russia has likely shifted its focus towards Avdiivka, south of Bakhmut, and to the Kremina-Svatove sector in the north, where Russia only likely aspires to stabilize its front line, according to the ministry
The shift suggests an overall return to more defensive operations after failing to conduct a general offensive since January 2023, the ministry added.
The battle for Bakhmut has been raging for the past eight months, with heavy losses incurred by both sides. However, Ukraine continues to hold the city.
On March 23, Oleksandr Syrskyi, commander of the Ground Forces of Ukraine, wrote that Ukrainian forces in Bakhmut are preparing to "take advantage" of Russian forces' massive losses and fatigue.