Ukraine: Russian Troops Replace Wagner Units in Bakhmut
Hanna Maliar, Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Defense, said that Russia replaced Wagner private military forces with regular troops on the outskirts Bakhmut. However the fighters from the group remain within the city.
Her comments seemed to at least partly confirm the announcement made by Yevgeny Prgozhin, founder of Wagner, that his group began to withdraw its forces from Bakhmut (east Ukraine) and handed over its positions in regular Russian troops.
“In Bakhmut, the enemy replaced Wagner units with regular military forces. “Inside the city, Wagner fighters still remain”, Maliar wrote on Telegram.
Prigozhin stated in a video, that the withdrawal of units began early on Thursday morning and that a transfer of positions to Wagner would continue through June 1.
Serhiy Cerevatyi is a spokesperson of Ukraine’s Eastern Military Command. He said that the number Russian attacks had decreased in the past three days and there were two military engagements within the last 24 hour period, although shelling continued.
“We have definitely noticed a decrease in attacks, and this could be linked to the regrouping of their forces. He said that it was clear we had inflicted heavy damage and the enemy needed this to regroup.
Maliar stated that Russia also reinforced its positions on Bakhmut’s flanks and was shelling Ukrainian forces in an attempt to stop Ukrainian advances towards the north and south.
Prigozhin declared the capture of Bakhmut after the longest, bloodiest battle in the war last week.