Ukraine says Russian forces pulling back after Bakhmut attacks

AFP , Wednesday 10 May 2023

A senior Ukrainian military official said Wednesday that Russian forces had dropped back from some areas near Bakhmut after limited counter attacks by Kyiv's forces in the longest-running battle of Moscow's invasion.

Ukrainian soldiers in the Donetsk region
File Photo: Ukrainian soldiers carry Igla rocket launchers to their position near Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, Thursday, May 4, 2023. AP


Commander of Ukrainian ground forces Oleksandr Syrskyi said Russian troops had fallen back in some regions of the front in the eastern Donetsk region by up to two kilometres (around one mile).

"We are seeing the results of the effective actions of our units," Syrskyi said, explaining that his forces were launching counter attacks along some portions of the contact line around Bakhmut.

"In some areas of the front, the enemy could not withstand the onslaught of Ukrainian defenders and retreated to a distance of up to two kilometres," he added.

Russian troops have battled since last summer to capture Bakhmut, the political importance of which has come to surpass any strategic value.

But Wagner, the Russian paramilitary group leading the Kremlin's offensive for the city, has publicly complained to Moscow that it lacks resources to hold its positions.

Its founder Yevgeny Prigozhin threatened this week to withdraw his forces from the city if the defence ministry did not bolster its supplies of ammunition.

"Our defence forces are holding the front and preventing the enemy from advancing. The battle for Bakhmut is continuing," Syrskyi added in his statement on social media.

Bakhmut, which had a pre-war population of around 70,000 people, has been destroyed as Russian forces have posted incremental gains over recent months, amounting to some 80 percent of the city.

Short link: