Ukrainian defenders managed to regain a territory of 2 km from the invaders near Bakhmut. The leader of the Wagner Group admits that the flanks of the invaders in this area are "falling apart at the seams," while his mercenaries may be surrounded.
Ukrainian forces confirmed their success near Bakhmut
The elaborate defense contrived by Ukrainian forces at the Bakhmut axis proved to be effective. In some areas on the frontline, the enemy succumbed to the onslaught of Ukrainian defenders and pulled back at a distance of up to two kilometers. Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, the commander of the Ukrainian Ground Forces, reported this on Telegram on Wednesday, May 10.
"Our skilled conduct of the defensive operation has exhausted the well-trained forces of the Wagner PMC and forced the Russian command to replace them in some areas with poorly trained units of the regular Russian army, which were defeated and pulled back," the colonel general said.
Syrskyi noted that, "despite the significant force concentration and lurid claims made by Russian war criminals of their intent to capture Bakhmut by May 9, the enemy failed to seize the Ukrainian city."
"Our Defense Forces are securely holding the line and don’t allow the enemy to push forward. The battle for Bakhmut is ongoing… I want to specifically praise the work of the 3rd Separate Assault Brigade, which delivered a powerful blow to the enemy in combat and demonstrated the strength of the Ukrainian army," Syrskyi summarized.
How the Warger fighters were driven back from Bakhmut: the Ukrainian Armed Forces posted a video
Fighters of the 3rd Assault Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine posted footage from the first day of the operation near Bakhmut, during which, as both sides confirmed, the Russian 72nd brigade retreated from its positions and left the Wagner mercenaries to die.
The fighting that day resulted in 13 invaders being killed and 25 wounded. A few ammunition depots were also liquidated.
The footage posted by the brigade shows the defenders, under cover of armored vehicles and fire, advancing briskly into the territory held by the enemy forces while engaging them in close combat.
What is known about the counterattack near Bakhmut
The 3rd Separate Assault Brigade (former Azov Regiment) held a successful offensive at the Bakhmut axis on May 9. The fighters vanquished two regiments of the Russian 72nd brigade and made headway. They took prisoners and destroyed Russian equipment.
Mykola Volokhov, nom de guerre Abdula, the commander of the Terra reconnaissance unit of the 3rd Assault Brigade, revealed some details of the successful action near Bakhmut. According to him, Russian forces attempted to come back and reclaim the territory taken by Ukrainians, but they failed, Suspilne reports.
Volokhov added that the enemy forces had fortifications on this territory and had reserves available, but none of this helped them.
"This is the first tangible success, when we were able to reclaim quite a significant part of Ukrainian territory. And control over this territory was regained. The enemy either was taken prisoner, retreated, or died," the commander summarized.
Wagner’s leader admits a crushing defeat
The founder of the Wagner PMC, Evgeny Prigozhin, complained on his Telegram channel that there’s a risk of his mercenaries being encircled in Bakhmut. He said that the flanks held by the Russian military are "falling apart" and "collapsing".
"Without ammunition, the "meat grinder" will start working in the opposite direction: the Armed Forces of Ukraine will destroy the Wagner PMC," the terrorist complained.
According to him, Bakhmut allegedly had no strategic value, and the Wagner fighters and Russian army were there to "grind down the enemy personnel" and give the Russian army enough time to conduct mobilization. However, the Armed Forces of Ukraine still managed to accumulate forces for the counteroffensive.
Prigozhin once again complained that his fighters "weren’t getting enough munitions" and added that there were only Wagner mercenaries and no other units within Bakhmut, while outside the city, there were only Russian armed forces.
The invader said that his men were planning to pull off from Bakhmut "to save the lives of the fighters" as they had no ammunition. The supreme Russian leadership allegedly responded by ordering the Ministry of Defense to ensure that the Wagner PMC gets everything it needs, but according to Prigozhin, they still didn’t receive any ammunition.
Prigozhin added that the Wagner Group continued assaulting in Bakhmut and waited to receive ammunition.
The retreat of the Russian 72nd brigade from Bakhmut: a recap
Earlier, Wagner’s leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, bemoaned the miserable condition of the invaders at the Bakhmut axis. According to him, the 72nd brigade "p*ssed away three square kilometers", where he had "around 500 men KIA." He warned that they wouldn’t be able to hold the lines "if the front collapses."
Later, the 3rd Separate Assault Brigade, represented by the Azov Tactical Group that defends the south-western outskirts of Bakhmut, said that the 72nd retreated from the city.
Context. As a result of a successful assault, the Ukrainian military advanced 7 km from Avdiivka.