Bakhmut, Russia withdraws: escape or strategy, Prigozhin-Moscow clash

Ukraine gains ground in area of ​​city, Wagner accuses Russian regular forces

Strategy or escape? Regular units of Russia’s armed forces abandon positions at Bakhmut, leaving the ground for the advance of Ukraine’s soldiers into a new phase of the war. The picture changes day after day in the area of ​​the city which has been the fulcrum of the conflict for months. Russia is withdrawing in a context marked by the broadsides that Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenaries, continues to direct towards Moscow, with destination Defense Ministry. Prigozhin, who denounces the shortage of ammunition supplies almost daily, now points the finger at the flight – in no uncertain terms – of army units.

The Russian Defense Ministry effectively admits a withdrawal from positions in Bakhmut, with a statement saying some troops have repositioned themselves “in more advantageous defensive positions” near a basin northwest of the besieged Ukrainian city.

Prigozhin, however, maintains that “it is not a question of reorganization but of flight” which cost “5 square km” which passed under the control of the Kiev forces. The Ukrainian soldiers “will be 500 meters from Bakhmut occupying all the tactical heights” after clearing the arterial road that connects the city to Chasiv Yar and which is crucial for supplies. The ministry “must stop telling lies immediately,” says Prigozhin, adding that the one described is in fact “a non-tactical retreat”. “There was simply a flight of Defense Ministry units from the flanks, an exit from the Berkhivka tank.”

Earlier, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said that Ukrainian forces advanced 2 km on the Bakhmut front this week. “The enemy has suffered great losses of men. Our defenders have advanced 2 km in the Bakhmut sector. We have not lost a single position in Bakhmut this week,” she said.