It will be difficult for Russian troops to replace the “Wagner” in Bagmut, and the Ukrainians may start a new operation around the city – ISW

“Wagner” leader Yevgeny Prigozhin said that “Wagner” is surrendering its positions in Bagmut to the Russian Ministry of Defense and withdrawing from the city.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Ministry of Defense is fulfilling its contract, actively deploying regular Russian units to the positions held by “Wagner” in the city of Pakmut.

about this write down ISW.

PMK leader Prigozhin said that PMK “Wagner” was conducting an organized evacuation from Pakmut and confirmed that Russia’s Ministry of Defense would have full control of the city and its surroundings by June 1.

Footage was also released of Prigogine visiting Russian rear positions where the Wagnerites were said to be retreating.

At the same time, ISW observed no visual confirmation that regular Russian forces had taken Wagner’s positions at Bagmut or that Wagner had left the city. ISW recently observed video footage purported to show elements of the Donetsk People’s Republic’s 123rd Brigade, believed to be previously stationed near Siversk, operating in the Bagmud region, possibly replacing the DPR forces in the Wagner formation.

Ukrainian sources say Wagner’s troops are still in Bakmut, and the pace of Russian offensives around the city continues to slow. Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar announced that regular Russian units had replaced the Wagner units on the outskirts of Baghmut. Malyar said Ukrainian troops still control positions on the southwestern outskirts of the city, and “Wagner” troops are still in Bagmut. Following Russia’s alleged capture of Pakmut, Ukrainian sources continue to report a slowdown in Russian offensive operations around Pakmut. On May 26, the Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops launched unsuccessful offensive operations near Pakmut and in the direction of Bretechnyi (15 km southwest of Pakmut).

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A series of successful limited Ukrainian counterattacks on Baghmut’s flanks will complicate the Russian relief operation on Baghmut’s ground. Russian military bloggers claim that Ukrainian forces launched successful counterattacks near Orikhovo-Vasilyvka (11 km northwest of Pakmut) and Klishivka (7 km southwest of Pakmut).

Ukrainian counterattacks near Orikhovo-Vasilyvka also reportedly forced units of a private military company to retreat up to a kilometer from their positions in the area.

Military bloggers said Ukrainian forces had captured heights along the E40 highway (Bakhmut-Slovyansk) near Orykovo-Vasilyvka and that fighting was ongoing in the area.

A Russian military blogger claimed that Ukrainian forces had advanced toward Klishivka and had crossed the Chivarsky Donets Canal, encircling the city and threatening to force Russian forces to retreat eastward. However, geospatial images released on 24 and 25 May show that Russian forces may have re-established limited positions west of Klishivka. ISW has previously assessed that it may be difficult for Russian forces to replace Wagner’s forces at Pakmut, and that successful limited and localized Ukrainian counterattacks would complicate their ability to do so. A slowdown in Russian offensive operations in the Baghmut area and the announcement of a drastic relief operation on the ground will give Ukrainian forces the initiative to launch a new phase of operations around the city if they so desire.

Let’s remindA representative of the National Guard, Colonel Mykola Urshalovich, reported that Ukrainian defenders were advancing on Bagmut’s northern and southern flanks.

The National Guard in the Pakmut direction continues aerial and radio-electronic reconnaissance to identify areas of concentration of enemy manpower and equipment. The defenders also destroy the radar stations and means of radio-electronic warfare of the invaders.

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