Ukrainian forces have released what they claim is video footage of a “street fight” between the State Border Guard Service and Wagner Group mercenaries in the key battleground city of Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast.
The footage, uploaded to video sharing website YouTube by the Ukrainian border guard and highlighted by state media, shows Ukrainian troops firing rocket launcher-like devices from the shattered yard of a residential building while a dog mills around them nonchalantly.
“Street fighting continues in the city,” the border guard reported, saying “[Private Military Company] Wagner mercenaries tried to push back the positions of the Ukrainian border guards” with what has been translated as either a “cannon fodder assault” or “meat assault” — a reference to the alleged human wave tactics deployed by the Russians in general and Wagner in particular in Bakhmut, gaining them around half the city but at, according to Ukrainian and Western officials, at an enormous cost in lives.
“The soldiers of the State Border Guard Service managed to repel the assault and made the enemy retreat with losses,” the Ukrainians claimed.
Wagner Mercenaries Have Taken Control of Half of Bakhmut: UK Intel https://t.co/4Nc3vUB436
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 11, 2023
Ukrainian state media emphasised British military intelligence suggesting that the “Russian assault on [Bakhmut] was losing the limited momentum it had obtained” over recent days, despite an emerging consensus earlier in 2023 that the long-embattled city may finally have been on the verge of falling, with U.S. officials, for example, cautioning that Kyiv should not expend too much strength attempting to hold on to it — especially not at the cost of diverting resources from a possible Spring counter-offensive.
Nevertheless, in their Wednesday update on the course of the war — in which the remarks about Russian offensive operations possibly “losing the limited momentum [they] had obtained” were made — Britain’s Ministry of Defence reported that “Ukrainian forces initiated a local counterattack to the west of the Donetsk Oblast town of Bakhmut” in recent days, and that this was “likely” to “relieve pressure” on a key supply route.
Wagner Group supremo Yevgeny Prigozhin recently claimed that his forces are being deprived of key supplies by the regular military, and warned that if the mercenaries withdraw “the entire front will crumble”.
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