Ukrainian forces captured more than ten enemy positions in the northern and southern suburbs of Bakhmut, a town controlled by 95% of Wagner’s units.
Ukraine steps up pressure on Russian troops and continues advance on Bakhmut front, a “prelude” to its impending counteroffensive in which Kiev plans to take advantage of tensions between Wagner Group mercenaries and Moscow’s military leadership . “We continue to move in the vicinity of Bakhmut”, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar wrote on Telegram. According to Malayar, throughout the day today Ukrainian forces captured “more than ten enemy positions” north and south of the suburbs of Bakhmut, a town 95% controlled by Wagner’s units. The deputy minister stressed the “seriousness” of the situation around the city, where a metro is “10 kilometers worth,” he said. Meanwhile, Serhiy Cherevati, spokesman for the Eastern Operational Command, assured this Saturday that Kiev forces liberated 17.3 square kilometers of territory in the direction of Bakhmut during the three-day counterattack.
The Russian Defense Ministry reported on Sunday “large-scale” attempts by Kiev armed forces to break through Russian defense lines around Bakhmut. “To the north and south of Artyomovsk (the Russian name for Bakhmut) the enemy made a massive effort to break through the defenses of our troops”, military spokesman Igor Konashenkov said. According to Konashenkov, all attacks by Kiev troops were “repelled.” Russian troops were not allowed to break through the defensive lines, he assured. According to Moscow, Ukraine suffered more than 400 casualties in one day on the Soledar-Bazmut axis, including dead and wounded. Konashenkov reveals that two Russian colonels were also killed in the fighting in that area.
This Sunday the head of the Wagner paramilitary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, announced that his units would continue to advance into Bakhmut and protect the flanks that some regular army troops had previously abandoned. During the day on this Saturday, Wagner’s units advanced 550 meters in different directions to Bakhmut., Prigozhin said in an audio message broadcast by his press service. Currently, he said, “1.78 square kilometers of area” remains to be conquered. He also assured that the troops of the Russian regular army “did not run away” from the flanks and have now joined Wagner’s fighters to defend the captured positions and contain the Ukrainian forces. In other statements made during today, Prigozhin confirmed the ammunition shortage that the military group is still suffering because the Ministry of Defense has not satisfied repeated supply requests.
The Ukrainian Air Force command reported shooting down three cruise missiles and 25 drones last night during attacks launched by Russia from different directions. In a statement on Telegram he specified that Russia attacked with Shahed-136/131 drones, Kalibr missiles from ships in the Black Sea and Kh-101/Kh-555/Kh-55 cruise missiles from Tu-95MS strategic aviation aircraft, In addition, “throughout the day of May 13 and early May 14, the Air Force’s tactical aviation made fifty sorties to counter the enemy and provide air cover for the fighters,” the statement said. Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed this Sunday that it had carried out night attacks against Ukrainian army deployment points and ammunition depots in Ternopil (west) and Petropavlivka (centre-east). “The objectives of the attack were hit,” a military statement said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was confident today that his country was “almost ready” for victory, referring to a planned counteroffensive that would begin after a few more visits from Western allies seeking military support. “We are motivated and I think we are almost ready for that victory,” Zelensky said during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. His chief advisor, Mikhailo Podolić, in turn believed that the battle at Bakhmut was a “prologue” to the counteroffensive and a kind of “gateway” that could lead to the success of that military operation. Meanwhile, according to Russian analyst Sergei Markov, the Ukrainian counteroffensive is “already underway” and has several aspects.