Russian forces suffered “significant losses” after launching dozens of attacks around the eastern city of Bakhmut during the past 24 hours, the Ukrainian military said Tuesday.
“Over the last day, Ukrainian soldiers repelled more than 140 enemy attacks,” along the front lines throughout eastern Ukraine, the General Staff said in its daily update.
Many of those attacks were to the north of Bakhmut, where Russian forces are trying to cut the Ukrainians’ ability to access the city, it said. “Over the past 24 hours, the enemy has carried out 37 attacks near the village of Dubovo-Vasylivka,” it said, referring to a settlement that lies just northwest of Bakhmut.
Ukrainians dig in: Ukraine’s decision to reinforce units holding the city comes amid renewed tensions between the head of the Wagner private military company, Yevgeny Prigozhin, and the Russian Ministry of Defense.
Prigozhin has frequently complained that his fighters are being deprived of ammunition while asserting they are doing the bulk of the fighting around Bakhmut.
Late Monday he wrote on his company’s Telegram channel that on Sunday he had written “a letter to the commander of the SVO group [special military operation] about the urgent need to allocate ammunition.”
“On [Monday] at 8 a.m., my representative at the headquarters had his pass revoked and denied access to the group’s headquarters,” Priogozhin claimed.
He also suggested that Ukraine was allocating more units to “unblock” Bakhmut.
Major battle: In its latest assessment of the battlefield, the Institute for the Study of War in Washington said that “taking Bakhmut is necessary but not sufficient for further Russian advances in Donetsk Oblast, and Russian forces have already taken such heavy losses fighting for the city that their attack will very likely culminate after they have secured it — if not before.”
“Ukraine’s fight for Bakhmut has become strategically significant because of the current composition of Russian forces arrayed in the area,” ISW said.