Russian Troop Withdrawal Signals Setback in Winter Offensive, Ukraine Reports
In a significant development, Ukraine has officially declared that a considerable number of Russian troops have abandoned their positions in Bakhmut, dealing a blow to the Kremlin’s faltering winter offensive.
Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, overseeing Ukraine’s ground forces, has verified the retreat of Russian units in specific areas of the town, having pulled back by an estimated distance of approximately two kilometers (equivalent to 1.2 miles) following successful counterattacks.
Russian troops retreat: This retreat comes in the wake of allegations put forth by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the notorious figure at the helm of the Wagner Group, a mercenary organization. Prigozhin claimed that a Russian brigade fled on Tuesday, resulting in a significant loss of territory.
A prominent oligarch, Prigozhin has been openly critical of the military leadership, contending that his fighters have been provided with only 10% of the requisite ammunition necessary to gain control over the town.
In a recent impassioned diatribe, Prigozhin’s remarks seemed to contain a veiled yet explosive reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin. While he did not explicitly mention Putin’s name, he alluded to a contented grandfather who harbored the belief that Russia’s campaign was progressing smoothly. Prigozhin then raised the question of the nation’s response should it transpire that this grandfather figure was utterly incompetent.
Prigozhin has previously targeted Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the General Staff, with scathing criticism. However, he has refrained from personally attacking Putin.
Nonetheless, critics of the Kremlin have often derided Putin as the “grandfather in the bunker,” and opposition figure Olga Romanova remarked that there were few alternative targets for such comments.
Under Prigozhin’s command, the Wagner units have spearheaded the Russian assault on the eastern city, witnessing some of the most intense ground combat in Europe since World War Two and resulting in significant casualties on the Russian side.
Ukrainian forces assert that the offensive has encountered obstacles and is losing momentum.
The Third Separate Assault Brigade of Ukraine has issued a statement corroborating Prigozhin’s report regarding the retreat of Russia’s 72nd Independent Motorized Rifle Brigade from the vicinity of Bakhmut, coupled with the alleged presence of 500 deceased Russian soldiers left behind. A standard Russian brigade typically comprises several thousand troops.
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