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Vyacheslav Gladkov, governor of Russia's Belgorod region, claimed on June 9 that a drone crashed into an office building and caught fire in the city of Belgorod. Later the same day, Russia's Kursk region Governor Roman Starovoyt reported a drone crash near an oil depot in the regional capital.
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Ukrainian troops have advanced up to 1,200 meters in some areas in the Bakhmut direction, Serhii Cherevaty, the spokesperson for the eastern command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said on June 9.

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ISW: Wagner group financier advocates for Moscow to hold current front line

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 23, 2023 6:21 AM 2 min read
This audio is created with AI assistance

Wagner group Yevgeny Prigozhin has been advocating for Russia to focus on holding the current front lines rather than seeking more gains so that Russian forces can regain their combat effectiveness for later offensive operations.

The Institute for the Study of War said in its latest update that Prigozhin is not arguing for Russia to end the war and negotiate with Ukraine and the West as some Russian and Western sources reported, but is instead condemning the faction within the Kremlin that is hoping to end the war in negotiations.

"Prigozhin is actually arguing that Russia needs to meet the upcoming Ukrainian counteroffensive at full strength and try to hold the current front lines without ending the war or entering into peace negotiations," the ISW said.

Prigozhin reportedly argues that a pause after the Ukrainian attack culminates would allow Russia to regain combat power and build nationalist support within the Russian society for renewing the fight even in the event of a defeat.

Prigozhin is also attempting to redefine and undermine some of Putin’s key maximalist goals in Ukraine—namely the “denazification” and “demilitarization” of Ukraine—likely to minimize the informational impact that might result from going over to the defensive and abandoning efforts to gain more ground now.

Russian far-right paramilitary formation Rusich (Sabotage Assault Reconnaissance Group), which facilitates recruitment of Russian ultranationalist and irregular forces, echoed Prigozhin’s rejection of the “denazification” and “demilitarization” goals.

Rusich noted that Russia is fighting Ukraine to avenge Donbas, for living space, and for combat experience—rather than fighting claimed Ukrainian “fascism” and “Nazism.”

"By reframing Putin’s goals, Prigozhin and some factions within the ultranationalist community may be attempting to condition the Russian domestic information space for the prospect of frozen front lines, potentially near the initial lines of February 23, 2022."

Flanks around Bakhmut hold as brutal urban fighting continues for city blocks
Two months after Ukraine’s defense of Bakhmut seemed doomed, the bloodiest battle of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine is still going against all expectations. Making rapid advances at the end of February, Russian forces seemed to be on the cusp of surrounding the city, as the only roads
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