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Frontline update: Wagner records crushing losses in a single day

Combat footage released by the Russian side showed that Russians are actively using tall buildings to target Ukrainian positions at a distance. Photo: screengrab from video
Frontline update: Wagner records crushing losses in a single day
Ukrainian forces used precision strikes to demolish key Russian positions and targeted high-rise buildings used by Russian snipers in Bakhmut. The battles have resulted in high losses for Wagner forces, with 99 soldiers lost in one day of offensive actions. Both sides are anticipating a “surprise attack”. Prigozhin continued his efforts to convince the Kremlin to go over to the defensive in the east of Ukraine.

In Ukraine’s east, as the deadline for capturing Bakhmut is almost reached, Wagner forces started using much bigger assault units and captured several new positions by overwhelming Ukrainians with the sheer number of troops. However, Ukrainians came back on tanks and, within minutes, obliterated more than 6 buildings that Wagners used as major fortifications. As a result, Russians had to create several teams of loaders to collect their dead after the fierce raid.

Earlier Ukrainians started to demolish key Russian positions by conducting precision strikes. Such a use of air bombs and missiles already dealt a lot of damage to Russian logistics and forced them to take time to regroup. The freshest reports indicate that this was just the beginning.

Combat footage released by the Russian side showed that Russians are actively using tall buildings to target Ukrainian positions at a distance. When it comes to 10-story buildings, Russians do not even need to get on the roof to get a clear view of the target. That is why the primary target of Ukrainians became high-rise buildings along Levanevskoho Street, from where Russians have been targeting the whole western side of the city. Combat footage released by the Ukrainian side shows how Ukrainians conducted a powerful strike on one of the tall buildings.

Judging by the explosion, it looks like Ukrainians used the HIMARS rocket for this purpose. Another video shows a controlled explosion of the second high-rise building just across the street. This particular building was causing a lot of trouble for Ukrainians because it was used by Russian snipers.

As seen previously, in intense urban fights, the front line can move back and forth quite substantially, even in 1 day, so it looks like Ukrainians conducted a counterattack in this region, temporarily recaptured the area, and set explosives. The operation was conducted very timely as Russians in this region were regrouping, which made them more susceptible to front-line penetrations. The operation was successful, and Ukrainians achieved a much better result than with the HIMARS strike.

In the central part of the region, there are a lot of changes. Many reports suggest that Ukrainians left the Engineering Department and Medical College and assumed defense in the high-rise buildings behind them. Some analysts are saying that goal is to move closer to the main fortifications, while others are saying that the move was forced by the recent Russian advancement from the south. It looks like the first explanation fits better because recent combat footage showed that Russians do not have tight control over the region.

The main goal of Russians was to split Ukrainian forces in Bakhmut into 2 groups, however, even after establishing control over the Industrial College, Ukrainians are freely moving between these two parts of the town due to the local geography. The territory behind the houses is in the lowlands, making direct fire impossible.

In turn, recent combat footage shows how Ukrainians conducted an unexpected raid on Russian positions and unleashed rapid and devastating fire from two tanks on two sides. After the raid, the drone operators filmed how several Russian crews were moving through the area with huge wheelbarrows collecting corpses and parts of bodies. As the drone revealed a new movement in the region, Ukrainians doubled the damage by striking the areas of forces concentration right behind the Industrial college.

It is unclear whether Ukrainians conducted a counterattack yet, but one slightly older video showed that counterattacks after such raids allow Ukrainians to collect a lot of trophies from the dead. Ukrainian soldiers published a video of trophy, namely a thermobaric artillery system allegedly used in the Bakhmut direction.

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Today the Head of the Wagner Group, Prigozhin, said that Wagner forces advanced in some places by up to 250 meters but added that it came at a huge cost. He said that they lost 99 soldiers in one day of offensive actions, however, the figure is likely much higher, especially taking into account recent artillery strikes and tank raids on defensive Russian positions. He once again underscored that they are taking more than 5 times as many losses as he expected.

In a recent interview, he said that if the Russian Ministry of Defense continues to put spokes in his wheel, then the Wagner mercenaries will be faced with a decision to either stay and die or withdraw from Bakhmut. Prigozhin also continued his efforts to convince the Kremlin to go over to the defensive in eastern Ukraine. He claimed that the Ukrainian counteroffensive could take place before 15 May and took an opportunity to criticize regular Russian forces for not rushing to prepare Wagner’s flanks to repel attacks. It is unclear how much of it is true, but one thing is clear for sure: over the last 2 months, Prigozhin has gradually set perfect information conditions for an unpleasant surprise, so if something terrible happens on this side of the front, he can retain his reputation and deflect the blame.

In the meantime, Ukrainian commanders are setting information conditions for a surprise as well. Two days ago, the spokesman for the 10th Assault Brigade announced that Ukrainian forces are preparing for Wagners a huge surprise. This was also repeated by the spokesman for the 93rd Mechanized Brigade and a fighter from the 3rd Assault Brigade, all of whom are fighting in and around Bakhmut.

In our daily frontline update, we pair up with the military blogger Reporting from Ukraine to keep you informed about what’s happening on the battlefield in the Russo-Ukrainian war.

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