Saturday, May 13, 2023

UKRaine Regains Ground Around Bakhmut as Fighting Rages; Putin Condemns Western Support for UKR as RUssia’s Battlefield Losses Mount; RU Brigade Flees Bakhmut; Wagner Group Leader Gives RU Defenсe Minister an Ultimatum, Says RU Army is Fleeing, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Sergey Shestak/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
WSJ: Ukraine Regains Ground Around Bakhmut as Fighting Rages:
Ukraine said it has clawed back some ground around Bakhmut, dealing a blow to Russian forces seeking to dislodge the last Ukrainian units holding several blocks in the westernmost part of the eastern city after months of grinding combat.
“We’re effectively counterattacking,” Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskiy, the Ukrainian ground forces commander overseeing the Bakhmut campaign, said in a post on Telegram Wednesday. “On some sections of the front line, the enemy has been unable to withstand pressure from Ukrainian defenders and retreated up to 2 kilometers.”
Although incremental, the Ukrainian advance, including around a crucial supply line northwest of Bakhmut is a boost to its effort to maintain a foothold in the city, and could deepen a rift between the Russian military and the Wagner paramilitary group. Wagner has spearheaded Russia’s Bakhmut offensive and its leader has accused a Russian military unit of abandoning its positions.
Ukraine’s Third Storm Brigade, which is one of Ukraine’s elite military units and made up of veterans of the Azov Regiment, said in a post on Telegram on Wednesday that 64 Russians were killed and five captured in one of the counterattacks this week.
Andriy Biletskiy, who founded the Azov Regiment and continues to train recruits near the front lines, said in a video posted to Telegram that Russia’s 72nd Brigade had been dealt a debilitating blow. “The brigade’s reconnaissance has been destroyed, a large number of its armored vehicles have been wiped out and a large number of prisoners of war have been taken,” he said.
The Ukrainian push in and around Bakhmut comes as Russia struggles to complete its capture of the city, facing resistance from the Ukrainian defenders. It also coincides with a public feud between Russia’s Defense Ministry and Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Appearing to confirm Russian losses, Mr. Prigozhin on Tuesday said an entire unit of Russia’s ground forces had fled from its positions around Bakhmut, exposing a large section of Russia’s front line. He specifically named the 72nd Brigade.
“They just upped and bolted,” Mr. Prigozhin said in a video posted to Telegram, adding that the abandoned positions were a key section for Wagner forces in the area. --->READ MORE HERE
Gavriil Grigorov/Pool Sputnik Kremlin/AP
WSJ: Putin Condemns Western Support for Ukraine as Russia’s Battlefield Losses Mount
Russian President Vladimir Putin fired a rhetorical broadside at Washington and the West on Tuesday, condemning allied military support for Ukraine as Moscow faces mounting battlefield losses more than a year after invading its smaller neighbor.
Speaking to a crowd on Moscow’s Red Square at the country’s annual Victory Day parade commemorating the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, Mr. Putin declared, “An actual war has once again been unleashed against our motherland,” saying the West sought Russia’s “disintegration and destruction.”
The Kremlin has sought to recast the war in Ukraine as a contest between Russia and the West, which has supplied Kyiv with increasingly powerful weapons and ammunition, as well as billions of dollars in financial support as it fights to expel Moscow from remaining occupied territories.
Tuesday’s celebrations, which included a military parade, were more muted than last year’s and came days after a drone attack on the Kremlin and a series of other strikes on infrastructure in Russia that have exposed the country’s vulnerability and rattled many Russians.
At least 20 cities decided to cancel parades and other public celebrations. Others scaled them back.
The Kremlin has found itself on the back foot in recent months, dogged by what Western defense officials say are tens of thousands of military casualties coupled with Moscow’s failure to cow Ukraine into submission or thwart Western nations’ support for Kyiv.
The quagmire facing Russia’s army is highlighted in the battle for Bakhmut, a city in eastern Ukraine that has become a symbol of Kyiv’s resistance to Russia’s attacks. The city has also been at the heart of public discord between the Russian military and Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close ally of Mr. Putin and the leader of the Russian paramilitary Wagner Group.
Over the past week, Mr. Prigozhin has threatened to withdraw his forces unless the Russian Defense Ministry supplied the arms and ammunition his group needs to continue its campaign in Bakhmut. Over the weekend, he agreed to fight on, but on Tuesday he said his units hadn’t yet received the ammunition promised by Moscow. He refrained from providing further details. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

+++++Russia-Ukraine News LATEST UPDATES: (REUTERS) (AP) (NY POST) and (WSJ)+++++

+++++Russian brigade flees Bakhmut+++++

+++++Wagner Group leader gives Russian Defenсe Minister an ultimatum, says Russian army is fleeing+++++

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