Yesterday, reports began to emerge from pro-Russian and Wagner sources that their forces had captured the village of Blahodatne, approximately 7km North of Bakhmut along the T-05-13 which connects Bakhmut to Soledar which fell on January 13th.
Russian forces on the outskirts of Blahodatne, Donetsk, Ukraine. Video posted yesterday. pic.twitter.com/pHB9JdU750
— Tessaron News (@TessaronF) January 31, 2023
Russian state owned media reported at 0630 EST: “Russian troops liberated the village of Blagodatnoye in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) during a successful offensive in the Donetsk direction. This was announced on Tuesday by the official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry, Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov.”
However, Ukrainian troops claimed they were still in the village. Ukrainian Commander Magyar told his Telegram followers at approximately 0200 EST that Russian artillery and infantry were attacking Krasna Hora, also on the T-05-13, but only 5km from the outskirts of Bakhmut. He said that there is no longer a good reason to stay in Blahodatne, signaling any remaining troops would withdraw or face encirclement.
Ukrainian service members also told Ukrainian media that Russian forces had secured positions along the T-05-13 that allowed them to fire on vehicles moving between Slavyansk and Konstantinovka and Bakhmut.
With these developments, the Ukrainian force in Bakhmut faces encirclement as Russian forces attempt to cut off reinforcements and resupply coming from Slovyansk. However, Russian troops and Wagner fighters face stiff resistance and ,according to the Ukrainians, have lost more than 20,000 troops in Soledar and Bakhmut alone.