Ukraine, “imminent Kiev counter-offensive worries Russia”. Moscow steps up attacks on Bakhmut

The Russian army has attacked the Bakhmut city 324 times in the last 24 hours, using artillery and multiple rocket launchers

Comments made by Russian officials, including Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, highlight a “pervasive anxiety” about a potential Ukrainian counter-offensive. This was stated by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). A well-known Russian military blogger – reports the US think tank – speculated that the counter-offensive will be planned during the May 9 celebrations in Russia. While Prigozhin’s words refer to the improvement of the weather conditions that would allow the Ukrainian armed forces to carry out their counter-offensive plans.

For his part, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called discussions about potential negotiations after a Ukrainian counter-offensive “schizophrenic”.

Meanwhile, Russia has intensified attacks on Bakhmut which, in 24 hours, numbered 324 using artillery and multiple rocket launchers. Thus, on Ukrainian national TV, Serhiy Cherevatiy, spokesman for the group of forces of eastern Ukraine, added that the Moscow forces have intensified attacks on the key city to take the eastern Ukrainian industrial region of Donbass. “The Russians are destroying buildings in Bakhmut to prevent our soldiers from using them as fortifications,” Cherevatiy said.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in a report on Facebook, said fighting has gripped Bakhmut and nearby areas. He added that Russian forces failed to advance on two villages to the northwest, while at least a dozen localities came under Russian fire.

On the other hand, the head of Russia’s mercenary force Wagner said Ukrainian troops were pouring into the area in increasing numbers ahead of an “inevitable” counter-offensive.

One person died and 23 were injured following a night attack on Mikolaiv, with rockets fired from the Black Sea, the Operational Command “South” announced on Facebook.

The mayor of Mykolaiv, Oleksandr Sienkovych, said there was a lack of electricity in one part of the city. Four S-300 missiles hit at least one skyscraper and two private residential buildings.