Russian forces capture key territory in Bakhmut, signaling new offensive moves



There have in fact been major advances. Most notably, Wagner has finally broken through the key ‘rail line’ which bisected western Bakhmut from north to south.

Firstly, here’s a map showing the newly gained territory, more easily visualized this way:

This is a more clear view where you can see that everything west of the river in the middle was captured and the previous areas Russia was holding were consolidated. The tiny remaining fraction of the city can likely only hold for days rather than weeks.

Here’s a more granular view. As you can see the only AFU controlled territory that remains is that small portion in the west of the city which amounts to 5-10% as per estimates.

Here’s a broader map with some annotations by South Front:

And here’s just a plain map of the full city without the clutter, where it’s clearly visible how much Russia controls compared to the AFU:

Also, the following is an interesting map because Prigozhin announced that in this final push, Wagner forces have been relieved by Russian units all along the flanks, so that Wagner can be freed up to do the interior push. So Russian VDV and reportedly Spetsnaz are now guarding Wagner’s flank from the alleged ‘counter-attack’ that Ukraine was planning to launch on Wagner’s northwest flanks around Khromovo.

This map shows where Russian forces have taken over on the flanks.

The bright neon-colored green shows the zones newly transferred under control of Russia, while the lighter green is what Russian forces were already previously holding. New reports have spoken of Russian forces fighting alongside Wagner forces “side by side” for the first time in Bakhmut area.

This infact inadvertently highlights the capricious nature of Prigozhin, who just days ago released a statement that “he doesn’t know anything about” Russian units anywhere near Bakhmut and “has not seen them there”, stating only Wagner forces are in the area. Now suddenly he releases this with full avowal of the fact that Russian forces have taken over all Wagner’s substantial flanks.

It goes to show he’s either trolling or spreading deliberate disinfo to fool the other side in most of the things he says.

The last thing I wanted to talk about was to use Bakhmut to swing back around to the AFU offensive. But first let’s mention that I had already predicted way back in late last year, that after Bakhmut, Seversk would likely be next—not a direct assault westward to Chasiv Yar and Kramatorsk, etc.

The reason for this is fairly self-evident if you understand military strategy, as Seversk is now cut off from every single direction apart from a road leading west (the Donets River barricades it from the north), and is a sitting duck.

Seversk is key in order to progress Russian troops in the Kremennaya direction back towards Liman so that they could begin slowly enveloping Slavyansk from the north/northeast as they once were ready to do last year. This will be key for taking the Kramatorsk-Slavyansk agglomeration later on.

But now it appears Arestovich agrees, as well as another report I’ve seen:

When Bakhmut is liberated, the Wagners and the Russian Armed Forces will go not to the west, to Chas Yar, but to the north, to cut off the ledge in the Seversk area. This information is dispersed by Arestovich: “If they take Bakhmut, they will not go to Chasov Yar or Konstantinovka, they will cut to Seversk, and now the strongest Russian group is not near Bakhmut, but in the Limansky direction.”

If you look at the map, it’s only natural because Seversk is already in a semi-cauldron:

Now onto the AFU offensive. Once again a lot of big numbers are being thrown around, with Prigozhin warning the Russian side not to take it lightly with the following:

“Don’t underestimate the enemy. The same opinion was expressed by Prigozhin, who estimated the number of Ukrainian troops assembled for the counteroffensive at 200,000 (according to some sources, up to 400,000 personnel). According to a number of data, the Ukrainian garrison in Zaporizhzhya has more than 50,000 people, including fighters trained in the West and new equipment, including tanks. In the Dnepropetrovsk region, there are also large reserves of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – at least 100-150 thousand people. Note that they are kept away from the front and will be brought into battle already on the go. The location is convenient, universal for almost any direction.

And the ISW claims the following for Russian forces:

As for the Russian forces, there is no information from our sources for obvious reasons. But the American Institute of War, with reference to the Colonel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Dmitrashkovsky, reported that our military had concentrated 113 battalion tactical groups (BTG) in the Zaporozhye direction and 205 BTG in the Donetsk direction. Based on the fact that there can be 600-900 people in one BTG, this is in the range of 190-286 thousand reserve personnel who are not currently involved in hostilities. Solid number.”

It’s uncertain how this channel extrapolated this to mean that those given BTGs are all non-committed reserve personnel. The original post from Ukraine’s Dmitrashkovsky did allude to Russia gathering this personnel in these regions “out of fear of” the coming Ukrainian offensive, so perhaps we can infer from that that these are defensive reserve type personnel, rather than ones actively partaking in combat or assaults.

If that’s the case then certainly it means Russia has more than enough reserves to deal with any Ukrainian incursion. I’m on record as stating that my personal number is that Russia should still have upwards of 150-250k of the mobilized uncommitted to combat, so that would chime with this report, but it’s impossible to know with absolute certainty.

However, some sources in the AFU are now waffling. A top Ukrainian channel called Come and See states:

AFU may postpone the offensive because of Artemovsk (Bakhmut)

According to “Come and See”, the planned spring offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine may be postponed due to the critical situation near Artemovsk (Bakhmut).

Bakhmut is devouring a lot of reserves. And it is not known how much more he will eat,” said a channel source familiar with the situation in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

According to him, the Ukrainian command continues to transfer reserves to the Bakhmut direction, which should have been involved in the general offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Currently PMC “Wagner” controls more than 80% of Artemovsk. The Armed Forces of Ukraine continue to hold the western part of the city for the time being.c

So, according to them, UA command continues to squander its reserves by sending them to Bakhmut. Of course, these are things I’ve already reported here as whispers over the course of the last couple months.

To add to this, a new page made public from the recent leaks states candidly that Ukraine’s Bakhmut losses are “catastrophic” and that GUR head Kiril Budanov was forced to send some of Ukraine’s most elite secret units to Bakhmut in order to ‘stabilize’ the situation.

Like last time, I won’t post the full page but transliterate it:

UAF in Bakhmut Almost Encircled; HUR Plans to Send in Elite Unit to Stabilize Catastrophic Situation

Ukrainian forces as of 25 february were almost operationally encircled by Russian forces in Bakhmut. Ukraine and Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR) Chairman Kyrylo Budanov on 28 February ordered that an elite HUR combat unit be deployed there for 2 weeks to stabilize what he considered a “catastrophic” situation.

Ukrainian Presidential Office Deputy Roman Mashovets on 25 February provided Ukrainian Presidential Office Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak with an update, which assessed that the situation in Bakhmut was rather difficult. According to Mashovets, there was only one UAF supply road to Bakhmut, which was subject so shelling.

Mashovets reported that, for those reasons, the morale in Bakhmut was low, with the Ukrainian forces under the impression that they were almost operationally encircled. Budanov on 28 February explained to UAF Ground Forces Commander Lt. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyy, HUR First Deputy Chief Maj. Gen. Oleh Ivashchenko, and a HUR officer identified only as Vova that HUR would bring in units to Bakhmut for a brief time to stabilize the situation. Budanov later relayed to Vova that the situation in Bakhmut was ‘catastrophic’ and Syrskyy declared a need for HUR’s Kraken unit to prevent the UAF from losing Bakhmut.

So it’s interesting to note that even as far back as February, internally they considered the Bakhmut situation already as ‘catastrophic’ (can’t imagine what they consider it now), while in their front-facing transmissions and public press releases they pretended everything was fine. Doubly interesting to see GUR head Budanov himself ordering Kraken units to stem the bleeding.

But the point of my posting that was to show actual evidence that the AFU has in fact been sending reserves including their most elite units to desperately hold Bakhmut.

This is all to say that, the notion that AFU has squandered its reserves for the offensives is not baseless. And in fact, despite that these ‘leaks’ and all the recent souring morale in the MSM appear potentially to be a concerted disinformation campaign to make Ukraine appear weak on the eve of their major offensive, I’m actually more and more inclined to believe the AFU truly has nothing left.

The 200-400k numbers being thrown around are absurd, the tanks and equipment are no where near enough and their ammo situation is catastrophic. Even if they were to make a ‘break through’, as one DPR commander recently said, “who will they send through the gap?”

More and more I’m beginning to think that there will be no real offensive. It will amount to nothing more than the infamous Kherson attempts long ago which were blown away with massive losses. And that’s not a change of mind due to the leaks—if anything the leaks would make me think the opposite, that the AFU could be much stronger than they let on. It’s simply a hunch formed of all the recent Ukrainian goings on and what I’m seeing on the field, coupled with how strong Russia has been getting in terms of the total stabilization of the frontlines and massive daily reports of its manufacturing and productive industrial progress.

I think they know the type of disaster they’re sitting on, and are just buying time for some magic unicorn moment to save them.

Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK gave us insight into this a few days ago when he said that for now the AFU’s losses are state secret, but one day they will be revealed and they will be a “horrible number”.

Ukraine will reveal the extent of its “horrible” losses once its conflict with Russia is over, Vadim Pristaiko, Kiev’s ambassador to the UK, said in an interview released on Friday.

Asked by British tabloid the Daily Express to comment on casualties among Ukrainian military personnel and civilians, Pristaiko said “it has been our policy from the start not to discuss our losses.”

“When the war is over, we will acknowledge this. I think it will be a horrible number,” he added.

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bidens Ukraine war against Russia is lost. Just like Afghanistan, biden shows the world what an inept “leader” he is. Not another penny to the money laundering scheme that is Ukraine.