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“Wagnerites” could not continue the offensive outside Bakhmut – ISW

Photo: ZSU General Staff

Western analysts doubt that Wagner PMC mercenaries will be able to conduct offensive operations in their current exhausted state.

PMC Wagner mercenaries maintain the administrative borders west of Bakhmut, and Ukrainian forces continue to focus on counterattacks around the city. However, the Wagnerites, exhausted from the battles, were unlikely to be able to continue offensive operations outside Bakhmut. This is stated in the report of analysts of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

According to them, the reports of the Ukrainian forces can be considered a tacit admission that the Russians control the rest of the western and northwestern part of Bakhmut.

The probable capture of PMC Wagner in the last small area west of Bakhmut does not affect the ongoing Ukrainian attack north and south of Bakhmut, nor does it affect Ukrainian control of the surrounding land lines of the city.

Russian troops will probably need additional reinforcements to hold Bakhmut and its flanks through operations in other directions. ISW recorded the artillery units of the 132nd Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade.

ISW had earlier predicted that Wagner’s offensive operations would likely end after months of grueling urban combat. However, experts consider it unlikely that the “Wagnerites” will continue fighting outside Bakhmut in their current exhausted state.

They believe that PMC Wagner has begun to show signs that she will not be able to continue offensive operations outside Bakhmut from the end of December 2022.

Regular Russian troops will be less exposed to offensive operations if founder Yevgeny Prigozhin fulfills his intention to withdraw PMC personnel from Bakhmut by May 25.

Some military personnel suggest that at the end of this month, Prigozhin will transfer the “Wagnerites” to another “critical” front. Russian forces faced a similar peak after the high attrition infantry attacks on Severodonetsk and Lisichansk in June-July 2022.

Recall, Deputy Defense Minister Anna Malyar said that a critical situation has developed in Bakhmut, but the Ukrainian army continues to hold the line.

Putin congratulated the Wagnerites on the alleged capture of Bakhmut

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Source: korrespondent

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