Mercenaries fighting for Moscow reportedly surround Ukrainian troops as Russian forces apparently make gains close to Bakhmut.
According to Russian sources and military bloggers, the Wagner Group troops allegedly made a breakthrough in Soledar, about 11 miles from the Donetsk oblast city that has been the scene of months of fighting. This information was brought to the attention of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) on Friday.
One military blog claimed that Russian forces had advanced as far as Krasnopillia, which is located about 2.5 miles to the northwest, and that “the Ukrainian grouping in Bakhmut is under threat of encirclement as a result,” even though it was too soon to tell whether Soledar had been completely taken.
But according to the ISW, it had “not yet observed visual material that corroborates these Russian assertions” when it stated as much in its daily statement.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, a financier for the Wagner Group, stressed that it was “exclusively” his troops who had achieved these alleged advances, while he called discussion of the complete conquest of Soledar “premature” in a statement on his Telegram social media channel.
The American think group added that after Vladimir Putin declared a cease-fire on January 5 and continued hostilities, Russian authorities and military bloggers reacted “negatively.”
The ISW, however, claimed that when it made that claim in its daily statement, it “had not yet observed visual material that corroborates these Russian statements.”
In a post on his Telegram social media channel, Yevgeny Prigozhin, a financier for the Wagner Group, emphasized that it was “exclusively” his troops who had made these purported advances while describing talk of the entire seizure of Soledar as “premature.”
The American think tank noted that Russian authorities and military bloggers responded “negatively” when Vladimir Putin announced a cease-fire on January 5 and continued hostilities.
The drone that appeared to be an attack on the port where Russia’s Black Sea fleet is based was shot down by air defenses, according to Mikhail Razvozhaev, the governor of the occupied Crimean city of Sevastopol who was placed by Russia.
The White House’s announcement of a $3.75 billion weapons package for Kyiv, which includes Bradley fighting vehicles for the first time, has received scant feedback from Russian authorities and war bloggers.
This was due to the Kremlin’s preference for promoting a narrative about how Western military assistance affected certain operations in Ukraine rather than paying attention to any specific weapon systems or red lines, according to the ISW.