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Russian milbloggers seek to frame any Russian ops as delaying Ukrainian counteroffensive – ISW

Russian milbloggers seek to frame any Russian ops as delaying Ukrainian counteroffensive – ISW
In its latest Russian offensive assessment, the US-based think tank Institute for the Study of War says Russian reactions to a claimed strike against a vehicle carrying Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces Commander Maj-Gen Ihor Tantsyura suggest Russian ultranationalists seek to frame any Russian operations as delaying potential Ukrainian counteroffensive actions.

Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed on May 2 that Wagner forces struck a Ukrainian armored vehicle carrying Tantsyura en route to Bakhmut, and published a video purporting to show the strike.

Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces Spokesperson Denys Zelinskyi denied Prigozhin’s claim and stated that “everyone is alive and well.”

Prigozhin responded that Wagner would continue to operate in the area.[10]

Milbloggers widely circulated Prigozhin’s claims and framed the strike as an informational victory (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 78, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13).

A prominent milblogger claimed that Tantsyura received an order to transfer reserves to Bakhmut and prepare Ukrainian forces to conduct counterattacks in the area, likely to frame the Russian strike as an operationally significant event which delayed potential upcoming Ukrainian counteroffensive actions.

Russian milbloggers claimed that the Russian strike on Pavlohrad on May 1 impacted a critical Ukrainian logistics and accumulation hub and similarly suggested that the strike would delay Ukrainian counteroffensive operations (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Open-source intelligence data suggest that a massive explosion observed in Pavlohrad occurred at the local chemical plant where the expired solid-fuel rocket motors for Soviet ICMBs were stored, not at the nearby train station, as multiple Russian sources claimed:

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