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  • War in Ukraine Russia tries to create a new Bajmut in Avdiivka: "They want to terrorize civilians"

The advance of the Russian army in Bakhmut, the longest battle of the Ukrainian war, has stalled in recent weeks due to "extreme attrition" suffered by Vladimir Putin's military forces, according to sources in the British Ministry of Defense.

The same sources say that the stalemate is also due to the growing tensions between the soldiers of the Russian army and the mercenaries of the Wagner Group (founded by Putin's "cook", Yevgeny Prigozhin) who have run the initiative in Bakkhmut in the offensive launched since January.

After several weeks of heavy fighting, with the front established on the river that divides the city (turned into a real "death zone"), the Russian army has returned to "defensive operational positions, after the inconclusive results to launch a general offensive from January 2023".

Bakhmut is considered a strategic enclave to control the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. Following the capture of the mining town of Soledar on January 16, the capture of Bajmut became the first Russian target on the first anniversary of the war in February.

The Wagner Group even claimed control of the city center, but Ukrainian forces turned Bajmut into a symbol of resistance and responded to the offensive with a rain of fire that, according to their own estimates, caused between 100 and 300 deaths a day in the Russian army and in the militias of the Wagner Group.

The intelligence services of the British Ministry of Defense have detected in the last hours a movement of troops to the south of the north of Bakhmut (Avdiivka and Kremina-Svatove), considered as areas in which Russia "probably aspires only to stabilize the front", in a clear indication of the problems to continue with the offensive.

Ukrainian commander Oleksandr Syrskyi said the Wagner Group "is losing considerable strength in Bajmut" and said the Russian army had suffered more than a thousand casualties in the past 24 hours in unsuccessful attacks in Lyman, Avdiivka, Marinka and Shakhtarsk.

"We will soon take advantage of this opportunity, as we did in Kiev and Kharkiv," Syrskyi said, hinting at a possible counteroffensive in the coming days to force a Russian withdrawal in Bakhmut, which would have a high symbolic value for Ukraine.

Yevgeny Prigozhin himself recently expressed concern about a new Ukrainian counteroffensive, amid the increasingly evident frictions of his mercenary army and Russian soldiers over high casualties on the Bakhmut front in recent weeks.

The first Russian attacks on the city occurred in May 2022, although the offensive actually began on August 1, with the Wagner Group leading the initiative and the Russian army and militiamen from separatist groups in support work. After the Ukrainian counteroffensives in Kharkiv and Kherson, the focus of the Ukrainian war shifted to the Solodar-Bajmut corridor, where the heaviest fighting since January 2023 has been fought.

According to The Trust Project criteria

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  • Ukraine
  • Russia
  • Vladimir Putin