War in Ukraine Russian army recognizes setback at Bachmout a

War in Ukraine: Russian army recognizes setback at Bachmout, a "routers" for the leader of the Wagner group

The Russian army finally admitted to withdrawing north of the town of Bachmout in eastern Ukraine on Friday, May 11, after previously claiming it had repelled a Ukrainian offensive in that sector.

According to Russia’s Defense Ministry, its soldiers retreated to “better defensive positions,” a retreat described as a “flight” by founder of Russian paramilitary group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigoyine, whose rivalry with the army has escalated in recent days.

The Wagner group and the Russian army have been trying for nine months to take Bachmout, a town that had a pre-war population of just 70,000, and thought they had almost done it a week ago, before Ukraine launched a series of local counterattacks, initially south of Bakhmout and now north.

The Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said Kiev had deployed a thousand men and about 40 armored vehicles north of Bachmout towards the small town of Soledar and that Russian soldiers had withdrawn near the Berkhivka reservoir.

An escape”

Yevgeny Prigoyine denied in an audio message that it was a tactical retreat and spoke of an “escape” that enabled the Ukrainian army to regain positions in the town of Bakhmout. “The loss of the Berkhivka reservoir means a loss of 5 km2 today alone,” he grumbled.

“The enemy has completely cleared the road between Chassiv Yar and Bakhmout, which we have forbidden. He can use them now and has conquered tactically important positions on the heights of Bakhmout,” continued Evguéni Prigojine.

The Wagner founder has sparked a confrontation with Russian Army Chief of Staff and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who he accuses of not providing his fighters with enough shells and ammunition.

The Ukrainian army, stingy with comments on its ongoing operations, which do not yet constitute the major counteroffensive expected in the coming weeks, is content to report a two-kilometer advance of its troops near Bakhmout. Portal was unable to verify this information on the ground.