Even before the expected counteroffensive begins, Ukrainian troops are making some of their largest advances in the previous six months while Russian soldiers are believed retreating from Bakhmut. Putin Has A Massive Ukraine Problem: He Could Lose the Battle of Bakhmut.
The announcement comes after weeks of rumors that Russian forces were leaving their posts in the city.
According to Petro Podaru, a Ukrainian artillery unit commander, Ukrainian forces have “started to advance” in Bakhmut. Podaru added that Russian troops are shelling all routes to the frontlines in the hopes that Ukrainian armored vehicles are unable to deliver more ammunition, supplies, and infantry.
Despite Russian resistance, however, Ukrainian troops have advanced by as much as a mile in some places.
The Ukrainian gains are good news for many reasons, in part because it breaks a more than six-month trend of defending against Russian advances.
Ukraine may be about to waste more than six months of intense Russian bombardment which resulted in the injury or death of tens of thousands of Russian troops and the destruction of an enormous amount of Russian equipment, suggested by the report.
Ukrainian military spokesperson Serhiy Cherevatyi said on television on Thursday that Ukrainian forces have “continued to advance on the flanks” by more than a mile.
Wagner Confirms Russian Retreat
Russia’s retreats in several parts of Bakhmut on Thursday were also confirmed by Wagner, the private mercenary group that assists the Russian military.
Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin says that his fighters continue to advance in Bakhmut and could be on the verge of pushing Ukrainian troops out of their last remaining position on the western edges of the city. Russian forces were retreating from their positions in the city’s north and south making it simpler for Ukrainian forces to surround Russian soldiers in the city’s center, Prigozhin issued warning.
“Unfortunately, units of the Russian Defence Ministry have withdrawn up to 570 metres to the north of Bakhmut, exposing our flanks,” Prigozhin said in a voice message posted on Telegram on Thursday.
Prigozhin publicly appealed to the Russian Ministry of Defence and accused the Kremlin of not responding to his communications.
“I am appealing to the top leadership of the Ministry of Defence – publicly – because my letters are not being read,” Prigozhin said.
“Please do not give up the flanks.”
Konashenkov an official for the Russian Ministry of Defense also confirmed on May 12. the beginning of Russian troops’ retreat from positions in the city’s north.
Konashenkov said that Ukrainian forces had launched a fresh assault using as many as 40 tanks and 1,000 troops, giving them full control of the only highway currently supplying Ukrainian forces in the city.