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Ukraine, Bakhmut and Wuhledar. Battles and advances of the Russians. The British Ministry of Defense reports

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Russian forces have probably achieved tactical gains in two key sectors – Bakhmut and Wuhledar. However, this was done at the cost of heavy losses, the British Ministry of Defense said. The ministry said that on the northern outskirts of Bakhmut, Wagner Group forces advanced 2-3 kilometers to the west, and Russian forces near the city of Wulhedar made progress, but “probably suffered particularly heavy losses because inexperienced units were involved there.”

In a daily intelligence report published by the British Ministry of Defence, it was reported that on the northern outskirts of the Donbass city of Bakhmut, Wagner Group forces had moved 2-3 kilometers further west, controlling the countryside near the main M-03 route into the city. According to the British, Russian forces increasingly dominate the northern approaches to Bakhmut.

In the south, Russian units made progress around the western edge of the city of Wuhledar, where they resumed offensive operations in late January 2023.

Russian-controlled troops of the Donetsk Republic on the front lineLeon Klein/Abaca/PAP

“However, Russian troops likely suffered particularly heavy casualties near Wuhledar because inexperienced units were engaged there. Russian troops likely escaped and abandoned at least 30 mostly intact armored vehicles at one go after a failed assault,” it said.

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According to Russian sources, Russian troops have recently suffered heavy losses in the area of ​​Wuhledar, independent Radio Svoboda reported on Friday.

The Russian editorial staff of Radio Free Europe/Radio Svoboda noted that reports of losses appeared on pro-war Russian Telegram channels. “We are talking about dozens of tanks and armored personnel carriers lost; the number of dead and wounded is likely to be in the tens or even hundreds,” the radio station said.

Wuhledar, located on an elevated terrain, has been attacked by the Russians since the last decade of January. According to Ukrainian military assessments, taking Whledar would mean serious problems for their army, as it would give the Russians the opportunity to control Ukrainian logistic routes.

The city, destroyed by Russian shelling, lies at the junction of the front in the Donetsk Oblast with the southern front in the Zaporizhia Oblast. There is a connecting railway line nearby Donbass and annexed Crimea; its capture would allow the Russians to move troops faster between the eastern and southern fronts.

Zelensky’s adviser: the Russian offensive has begun

The Ukrainian general staff said on Friday that the Russians are conducting offensive operations in five operational directions in the Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk regions – near Kupiansk, Kreminna, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, Mariinka and Wukhledar.

The command in Kiev thus confirmed Thursday’s reports by Mykhailo Podolak, an adviser to the president Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, that the aggressor’s forces launched a massive attack in the Donbass. “This is the (announced) offensive. It has already begun, active combat operations are underway in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions,” the politician said, quoted by the RBK-Ukraine portal.

Ukrainian soldiers in BakhmutEugene Titov/PAP/EPA

Main photo source: Leon Klein/Abaca/PAP

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