Russian MoD Confirms Bakhmut Retreat, Prighozin Responds

For the last forty-eight hours, Russian military bloggers and pro-Western journalists have been flailing over the purported start of a Ukrainian counter-offensive. While President Zelensky has denied the claims, countered by Wagner owner Prghozin’s claims that Ukrainian troops are advancing around Bakhmut, the Russian Ministry of Defense has officially confirmed that at least one of it’s units has retreated from Northwest Bakhmut and taken up new defensive positions after Ukrainian gains.

The Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said:

“In order to increase the stability of the defense, Russian troops occupied the line in the Maloiliinovsky direction, taking into account the favorable conditions of the Berkhovsky reservoir… In the Soledar tactical direction, Kyiv yesterday carried out an offensive along the entire line of contact with a length of more than 95 km. The Kiev regime involved up to 40 tanks and more than a thousand fighters. 26 attacks were made. All attacks repulsed. Defense breakthroughs are not allowed.”

Berkhivske Resevoir northwest of Bakhmut, Ukraine. Courtesy of LivemapUkraine
This can be read as Russian troops of the 72nd Independent Motorized Rifle Brigade retreated in the face of Ukrainian fires and took up positions in, around, or behind the reservoir, which has been behind the Russian forward line of troops for several weeks if not months. Yesterday, Ukraine’s Third Separate Assault Brigade  claimed that this unit retreated and left more than “500 corpses”. Russian military bloggers denied the claim.
Wagner Group owner Prighozin called thus action “fleeing”, while he claimed his troops were resuming assault operations against the final holdouts in the western residential areas of Bakhmut, where Ukrainian troops have dug in. 
Tessaron
Tessaron
United States Military Academy and American Military University Alumni. Victor covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.

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