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Russia gained footholds in central Bakhmut, reduced military activity elsewhere – British intel

Situation in the area of Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, as of 17 March 2023. Map: liveuamap.com

In its intelligence update, the British Defense Ministry says that Russia’s Wagner group forces gained footholds west of the Bakhmutka River, which had marked the front line over the previous week. Meanwhile, the rest of the frontline saw Russia’s “lowest rates of local offensive action that has been seen since at least January 2023.”

The ministry tweeted:

  • “In recent days, Russian and Wagner Group forces have obtained footholds west of the Bakhmutka River in the centre of the contested Donbas town of Bakhmut. Over the preceding week, the river had marked the front line. Ukrainian Armed Forces continue to defend the west of the town.”
  • “However, more broadly across the front line, Russia is conducting some of the lowest rates of local offensive action that has been seen since at least January 2023. This is most likely because Russian forces have temporarily depleted the deployed formations’ combat power to such an extent that even local offensive actions are not currently sustainable.”
  • “Russian leaders will likely seek to regenerate the offensive potential of the force once personnel and munition stocks are replenished. In the meantime, commanders will likely be forced to choose between carrying out offensive operations and conducting a credible defence of the full line.”

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