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Russian MoD wants success in Vuhledar to compete with PMC Wagner’s achievements at Bakhmut – British intel

Situation in Donetsk Oblast as of 16 March 2023. Map:

In its intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine, the British Defense Ministry says that the last week saw Russia’s costly attempts to assault Donetsk’s Vuhledar slowed. The report suggests that “Russia’s MoD [Ministry of Defense] has been insistent in its drive for success in Vuhledar, partially because it wants its own success to compete with Wagner’s achievements [in the Bakhmut sector].

The ministry tweeted:

  • “Over the last week, Russian attempts to assault the Donetsk Oblast town of Vuhledar have almost certainly slowed. This follows repeated, extremely costly failed attacks over the previous three months.”
  • “One factor in Russia’s heavy losses in this sector has been Ukraine’s successful adoption of Remote Anti-Armour Mine systems (RAAM). RAAM is a specialist artillery shell which scatters anti-armour mines up to 17km away from the firing unit. In some instances, Ukraine has launched the mines over and behind advancing Russian units, causing disarray when Russian vehicles attempt to withdraw.”
  • “Russia’s only notable recent tactical success has been in the Bakhmut sector, which is dominated by Wagner Group mercenary forces, currently engaged in a public feud with the Russian Ministry of Defence. There is a realistic possibility that Russia’s MoD has been insistent in its drive for success in Vuhledar, partially because it wants its own success to compete with Wagner’s achievements.”

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