Wagner Begin Handover Of Bakhmut To Russian Military
In a recent development, Wagner begin handover of Bakhmut to Russian military as the leader of the Wagner group made an announcement regarding the withdrawal of their forces from the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the group, has stated that they are in the process of pulling out their troops and intends to hand over control of the city to the Russian army by 1st June. However, the government in Kyiv has disputed this claim, asserting that they still maintain control over certain parts of the city.
Prigozhin has further declared that if the Russian regular army encounters difficulties in managing the situation, his forces stand ready to return. This signifies the complex nature of the battle for Bakhmut, which has been the longest and most violent conflict throughout the war.
Prigozhin disclosed that the Wagner mercenaries had played a leading role in the conflict, and he revealed a staggering casualty figure, stating that approximately 20,000 of his fighters had lost their lives in Bakhmut.
"We are withdrawing units from Bakhmut today," Mr. Prigozhin said in a video released on Telegram from the destroyed city.
COPYRIGHT_BP: Published on https://bingepost.com/wagner-begin-handover-of-bakhmut-to-russian-military/ by Cecilia Jones on 2023-05-26T00:45:12.091Z
In a recent development, the video footage released by BBC Verify has been geolocated to an area near a pharmacy in the eastern part of Bakhmut, confirming the authenticity of the recording. The video features Yevgeny Prigozhin, who proclaimed the capture of the city on Saturday, issuing instructions to his men. He directs them to leave ammunition behind for the Russian army while mentioning that a portion of the Wagner fighters will remain to support the Russian troops.
"The moment when the military are in a tough situation, they will stand up," he says, before warning two fighters to not "bully the military".
Ukraine war: Wagner says Bakhmut transfer to Russian army under way - BBC News
The leader of the Wagner mercenary group, known for his outspoken nature, has consistently taken aim at high-ranking Russian military officials, publicly criticizing them for their lack of support towards his troops. In a recent development, he went as far as threatening to withdraw his forces from the city of Bakhmut if they were not provided with essential ammunition.
However, despite Wagner's assertion of handing over control of Bakhmut, Ukraine has not accepted the claim that the city has fallen. According to Ukraine's Deputy Defense Minister, Hanna Maliar, their forces still maintain control over a portion of the Litak district located in the southwest of the city.
This conflicting narrative underscores the complex and fluid nature of the situation on the ground, with both sides offering differing accounts of the current state of affairs in Bakhmut.
Hanna Maliar's post on Telegram stated:
The enemy has replaced Wagner units in the suburbs with regular army troops. Inside the town proper, Wagner forces are still present.
- Ukraine's Deputy Defense Minister, Hanna Maliar
According to analysts, Bakhmut holds limited strategic significance for Moscow. However, its capture would represent a symbolic triumph for Russia, considering it is the site of the longest battle witnessed thus far in the Ukrainian conflict.
Over the past months, the Wagner mercenaries have dedicated their efforts to seizing control of the city. Their persistent and costly strategy, characterized by sending waves of fighters, appears to have gradually worn down Kyiv's resistance.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of Wagner, has emerged as a prominent figure in Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, initiated in February 2022. He commands the private army of mercenaries that has played a substantial role in the conflict.
It has been revealed that Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner mercenary group, recruited thousands of convicted criminals from jails, regardless of the severity of their crimes, as long as they were willing to join the fight for Wagner in Ukraine. In a recent statement, Prigozhin disclosed that approximately half of the 20,000 Wagner fighters who lost their lives in Bakhmut were individuals with criminal backgrounds.
Earlier this month, the United States estimated that over 20,000 Russian soldiers had been killed in the battle for Bakhmut, with an additional 80,000 wounded. Official casualty figures from Ukraine regarding the losses incurred in Bakhmut have not been released. However, Ukraine has also suffered significant casualties in the conflict.
The capture of Bakhmut would bring Russia incrementally closer to its objective of gaining control over the entire Donetsk region. This region, along with three others in eastern and southern Ukraine, was annexed by Russia in September of the previous year following referendums that were widely condemned outside of Russia as illegitimate.
However, it is worth noting that in previous instances when Russia fiercely fought to seize cities like Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, Ukraine was able to reclaim substantial portions of territory in other areas.
Before the invasion, Bakhmut was home to approximately 70,000 people. However, due to the devastation caused by the conflict, only a few thousand individuals remain in the city, which was once renowned for its salt and gypsum mines, as well as its expansive winery.