Following a successful unblocking operation in the Kromove region, Ukrainian forces have resumed using the Khromove highway to deliver crucial supplies directly to the city. This development has disrupted the plans of the Wagner Group, as Ukrainian resistance has intensified.
Earlier, the leader of the Wagner Group, Prigozhin, announced his intention to leave Bakhmut on May 10th. However, the Russian Ministry of Defense sent him a letter on May 9th, warning that if he leaves, he would face immediate treason charges. Prigozhin has realized the growing risk of being encircled and is now determined to capture Bakhmut quickly, regardless of losses. His plan is to claim that his detachments successfully completed the mission, transfer responsibility to the airborne forces, and escape the encirclement.
In response to increased Ukrainian resistance due to improved supplies, the Wagner forces have shifted their focus to the outskirts of the city. They have dedicated significant resources to cut off the supply routes. Recent reports confirm that the Russian forces have advanced and are now only one street away from blocking the main supply road.
The main Ukrainian positions are concentrated in the final block of fortifications within the citadel. Recent footage shows that the Russians have demolished key firing positions that had prevented their entry for weeks. Prigozhin has acknowledged that encircling the remaining Ukrainian forces will be difficult and that capturing the rest of Bakhmut will require brutal fighting. He once again criticized Chief of Staff Gerasimov for the collapse of the flanks, which prevented encirclement and starving out the Ukrainians.
Today, it has been confirmed that Ukrainian forces have further pushed back the flanks by several kilometers. After regrouping and consolidating newly gained tactical positions in the forest, Ukrainians launched multiple attacks toward Klishchiyivka. Combat footage released by assault detachments showcases their clearing and storming operations. In one instance, the 3rd Assault Brigade used a tank to undermine Russian defenses in a tree line and successfully destroyed an enemy ammunition depot.
Another video depicts an assault unit preparing to storm Russian positions when the commander suspected that the enemy had revealed their location, as the first shell landed with suspicious accuracy. Quick thinking saved the unit as they evacuated their shelter just before the next shell exploded it.
A fighter from the 24th Assault Brigade reported that their advances were so successful and deep that they faced a new challenge: Russian forces started firing at them from the rear. Despite this, the Ukrainian forces decided not to retreat, requested support from the nearby Presidential Brigade, and continued their forward movement.
Observing the relentless progress of the Ukrainian forces, many Russian troops attempted to abandon their positions and retreat along the tree line. Paradoxically, soldiers on the ground noted that this strategy increased their losses, as they fell victim to artillery fire. Surrendering and becoming prisoners of war offered a higher chance of survival. During this storming operation, the Aidar Battalion reported that Russians lost over 80 troops.
With the current situation, the next logical step for Ukrainian forces is to target Klishchiyivka, and reports from soldiers indicate preparations for a storming operation. The major obstacle ahead is an extensive trench network on the hill north of the settlement. Once that obstacle is overcome, Russian forces will not only have to retreat from the village in the lowlands but also from the fields back to Opytne.
In our daily frontline report, we pair up with military blogger Reporting from Ukraine to keep you informed about what’s happening on the battlefield in the Russo-Ukrainian war.